New government scheme excludes arts subjects
Earlier this week, the Department for Education confirmed that performing and creative arts qualifications will not be part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee scheme's new Level 3 Adult Offer, funded by £95 million from the National Skills Fund.
From April 2021, any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full Level 3 qualification (equivalent to a technical certificate or diploma, or 2 full A levels) will be able to choose from almost 400 fully funded courses.
There has been extensive speculation that the reason why certain sectors have been excluded from the list (including tourism and hospitality) is due to their supposed wage prospects and how much prospective employers will value the skills learned.
Commenting on the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announcement, the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, said:
‘Omitting performing and arts qualifications from the Lifetime Skills Guarantee programme undermines the credibility of the entire scheme and is typical of this government’s reckless disregard for vital creative subjects. If it is true that this decision was based on what is supposedly valued by employers, then the important contribution of music to the UK economy has been seriously underestimated once again.
'We contributed £5.8 billion to the UK economy in 2019 and that success depends on a talent pipeline which includes adult education and skills training. The government must reconsider this short-sighted policy and ensure that the National Skills Fund helps even more people access the rich benefits of a career in music. After all, there is no better job than a job in music.'