Funding trial for adults on low wages to continue

Trial aims to break down barriers to education for adults on low wages currently only able to access co-funding

Julia Belgutay

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A trial to fully fund learning for adults on low wages is to be continued, the Education and Skills Funding Agency has announced.

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) low-wage trial started in 2018- 2019 and will now continue in 2019 to 2020, said the ESFA, and the low-wage threshold had been increased to £16,009.50.

Providers in receipt of ESFA funded AEB can therefore fully fund learners who are employed on a low wage and therefore cannot contribute towards the cost of fees.

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The ESFA hopes the trial will help increase AEB participation and lift social mobility barriers to learning for those who would not otherwise engage with it. It also aims to support those that are in low paid employment and are wanting to further progress in work and in their chosen career.

The current AEB fee remission rules only provide full funding for eligible unemployed adults, young people aged 19 to 23 with skills below level 2, and adults aged 19 and over without English and maths up to level 2. Individuals who do not fall into one of these categories may have to contribute 50 per cent of the cost of their learning.

In the 2019-20 trial, those that are eligible for co-funding for provision, up to and including level 2, and earn less than £16,009.50 annual gross salary are eligible for full funding.

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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