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Some traditional jobs may be gone for good - Boris Johnson

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

Boris Johnson at Exeter College
Finnbarr Webster/PA Wire

The prime minister has suggested that some jobs in traditional shops, pubs or restaurants may be gone for good.

Boris Johnson has been at Exeter College, announcing that adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification would be offered a fully-funded college course, and funding for courses offering "skills valued by employers" would be made available from next April.

He said it was part of "radical" changes to the education system in England to help boost the post-Covid economy.

But he added that "not every job will be the same" after the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "Before Covid, people were already shopping ever more online, were already sending out for food."

Coronavirus "has compressed that revolution", he said.

He said: "Let's imagine that you are 30 years old, you left school without A-levels and you are thinking - you were in retail or hospitality - you could find a job in the wind farm sector in the North East, or in space technology in Newquay or in construction here in Exeter."

Labour said the plans would not reverse the impact of "a decade of cuts", and shadow education secretary Kate Green said that "what the government proposes is simply a mix of reheated old policies and funding that won't be available until April".

She said : "By then many workers could have been out of work for nearly a year, and the Tories still think that they will need to take out loans to get the training they will need to get back in work."

She added the plans would not give workers "the skills and support they need in the months ahead".

CBI director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said the "significant" unemployment coronavirus is leaving in its wake "only accelerates the need for people to develop new skills and adapt to new ways of working".

"The lifetime skills guarantee and flexible loans to support bitesize learning are a strong start but to really shift gears, this must be backed up by meaningful progress on evolving the apprenticeship levy into a flexible skills levy," she added.

Not every job will be the same post-Covid - Boris Johnson

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

Boris Johnson at Exeter College
Finnbarr Webster/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has vowed "radical" changes to the education system in England to help boost the post-Covid economy, but added that "not every job will be the same" after the coronavirus pandemic.

In a speech made during a visit to Exeter College, the prime minister said the pandemic had "massively accelerated" changes to the world of work, and made training gaps "painfully apparent".

He said the government could not "save every job" amid the pandemic, but wanted to help people find new work.

Mr Johnson announced adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification would be offered a fully-funded college course, and funding for courses offering "skills valued by employers" would be made available from next April.

He said: "Our economy has been shaken by Covid and in the hand-to-mouth scrambling of the pandemic, the shortcomings of the labour market and our educational system have been painfully apparent."

But he also declined to declare that some industrial sectors were dying.

Asked about warnings for retail jobs, he said: "I'm not going to say that any particular sector faces some fatal or mortal change, I think of all kinds of ways sectors will continue to evolve. But there will be change. And not every job will be the same."

Labour said the plans would not reverse the impact of "a decade of cuts".

Boris Johnson at Exeter College
Finnbarr Webster/PA Wire

Boris Johnson visits Devon college ahead of courses speech

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

Boris Johnson at Exeter College
Finnbarr Webster/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in Devon and has been meeting students during a visit to Exeter College.

The visit has come ahead of a speech in which he is expected to announce guaranteed opportunities for life-long learning to help create a jobs recovery after the Covid pandemic.

He is expected to outline his intention to create conditions for people to upskill at any stage of their life in a bid to help those made redundant to retrain for new positions.

Funding for courses offering "skills valued by employers" will be made available from next April.

In a speech, the prime minister will say the government cannot "save every job" amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but wants to help people find new work.

Labour said the plans would not reverse the impact of "a decade of cuts".

Boris Johnson at Exeter College
Finnbarr Webster/PA Wire