Adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification will be offered a fully funded college course, the government has announced.
Funding for courses offering “skills valued by employers” will be made available from next April.
In a speech on Tuesday, the PM will say the government cannot “save every job” amid the coronavirus pandemic, but wants to help people find new work.
Labour said the plans would not reverse the impact of “a decade of cuts”.
The government decision comes amid fears that unemployment is set to grow sharply.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has said the unemployment rate could peak at between 9.7% to 13.2% in the next few years. The most recent rate – for May to July – is 4.1%.
In his speech, Boris Johnson will say: “As the chancellor has said, we cannot, alas, save every job – what we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.
“We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.”