What the Government’s free adult education ‘low wage’ trial means for businesses in the South West

13 September 2018 | Business & Enterprise, Employers

City College Plymouth’s Vice Principal for Curriculum & Quality, Ben Manning, shares his thoughts on what the Government’s free adult education trail means for businesses in the region.

Over the past decade, the funding available for those looking to return to education or training has been significantly cut, resulting in fewer opportunities for people looking to improve their skills for self-improvement or career progression.

The Government’s own report, ‘Further Education and Skills: March 2018’ shows that the number of people aged 19 and over – classed as ‘adult learners’ – has been steadily decreasing over the past five years. Worryingly, this downward trend is also reflected in the number of adults studying the core subjects of English and maths – subjects which act as essential gateways to further study or significant career progression.

Course fee waiver
In an effort to increase participation in education from adult learners and lift social mobility barriers to learning for those who would not otherwise engage due to course fees being unaffordable, the Government has introduced a one-year trial which waives the course fees for low wage adult learners.

The offer is open to all who earn less than £15,736.50 annual gross salary, including those who are self-employed, and covers a range of courses up to level 2 in areas such as accounting and business, hospitality and catering, hair and beauty, and construction – all of which can be taken alongside those all-important free courses in English and maths.

The benefit for businesses
The fee waiver will not only support those that are in low paid employment and are wanting to further progress in their chosen career, but also offers an opportunity to business owners and managers who are looking for a cost-effective way to provide employees with certified, high-quality continued professional development education and training.

Disruption to the day-to-day routine will also be kept to a minimum, as all of City College Plymouth’s adult part-time courses are designed to fit around work and home life.

Don’t miss out
The Government’s offer to waive fees for low wage adult learners is only valid for this year, meaning businesses must act fast to take advantage of this opportunity.

To find out how your employees can benefit from the adult education fee waiver or to enrol on a course starting this September, please contact our Business Engagement team on employers@cityplym.ac.uk or call 01752 305026.

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