From the 2019/20 academic year, the West of England Combined Authority will take responsibility for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
AEB is used to prepare adults over the age of 19 with the skills and qualifications needed for life, work, apprenticeships and further learning. Traditionally, this funding has come from central government with local adult education providers bidding for money on an annual basis. Central government has set out how the budget is spent based on national needs and requirements.
By taking responsibility for the Adult Education Budget, WECA will be able to fund providers to deliver courses tailored to meet the needs of our specific region; and in doing so, provide all residents with the opportunity to develop their talents and prosper. We will deliver this by working in partnership with adult learners, businesses, and education providers to ensure we achieve positive results – supporting our residents and businesses to reach their potential and prosper.
The Adult Education Budget aims to engage adults and provide the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or other learning. It enables more flexible and tailored programmes of learning to be made available for learners to engage with. This provision helps learners build confidence, develop the skills required for work and life and enhance their wellbeing. WECA’s vision for Adult Education Funding is as follows:
Residents: WECA residents are able to access the education and skills they need to participate in society and progress in education, training and work;
Employers and the Economy: The WECA area has a skilled workforce which can meet the needs of local employers and the local economy;
Strategic Integration: WECA has a strategic Adult Education offer which is part of an integrated employment, education and skills system and is informed by employer and learner needs.