Education and training


New skills and qualifications are a gateway to higher earnings and career progression for the self-employed. Upskilling this growing sector is also crucial to ensure the UK can take advantage of rapid technological change.

Finding the time and money to undertake training can be costly though for the self-employed. On top of this, the government’s skills strategy remains too focused on employers and, for the growing number of young people choosing to work for themselves, access to enterprise education is inconsistent.

Our Policies 

To equip the self-employed with the tools to adapt and thrive in a developing economy, IPSE recommends:

• Fixing the design faults in the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) Scheme;
• Introducing Adult Education Vouchers to incentivise lifelong learning among low-income groups;
• Making apprenticeship levy funding available for employment agencies to subsidise training for the self-employed people they represent;
• Making training for new skills tax-deductible for the self-employed;
• Establishing a self-employment hub to improve signposting to trusted online training providers;
• Ensuring the self-employed benefit from the new Flexible Learning Fund;
• Introducing enterprise modules in higher and further education courses which produce more self-employed graduates;
• Integrate enterprise and entrepreneurialism throughout the entire school curriculum at secondary and sixth form level;
• Urgently reforming the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) levy.


Eight ways to upskill the self-employed