‘As outlined in the Skills Funding letter for 2016-17, the new Adult Education Budget is to be kept for the next four years at £1.5bn, allowing for the SFA to end the cycle of annual cuts. Priority areas such as apprenticeships and traineeships see automatic provider allocation increases and advanced learner loan facilities, which will be also available for 19 to 23-year-olds for the first time next year, also automatically increase.
Commenting on the announcement, Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, told FE Week: “It’s good to see the Spending Review commitments being confirmed in year one of the settlement. After years of damaging cuts these allocations give colleges a firmer base to build on in maintaining services to their students, communities and employers. It would be even better if the allocations had been earlier and if they could be made on a multiple year basis.”
Stewart Segal, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers said: “The increase for adult apprenticeships is very welcome and is further recognition that apprenticeships are regarded as an all-age programme. It will help to reverse the decline in starts we have seen so far this year for the 19-24 age group. Providers will also be pleased that they have an opportunity to offer more traineeship opportunities for young people as the programme is proving to be an effective stepping stone to an apprenticeship and sustainable employment.”’ – FE Week