From the 2019/20 academic year, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) took on responsibility for Adult Education powers and funding in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
Adult Education is used to help adults over the age of 19 to develop the skills and qualifications needed for life, work, apprenticeships and further learning. Traditionally, funding has come from central government with local adult education providers bidding for money on an annual basis with central government setting out how the budget is spent based on national needs and requirements. For the academic year 2020-21 the WECA Adult Education Budget is approximately £14.7 million.
By taking responsibility for Adult Education powers and funding, WECA will be able to fund providers to deliver courses tailored to meet the needs of our specific region providing all residents with the opportunity to develop. These provisions help learners build confidence, develop the skills required for work and life and enhance their wellbeing. As set out in the Local Industrial Strategy and the Employment and Skills Plan, the focus on inclusive growth serves the residents, the businesses and the three constituent WECA areas of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucester as well as the wider West of England area.
Adult Education aims to engage adults and provide the skills and learning needed to equip them for work, an apprenticeship and/or other learning. It enables localised, more flexible and tailored programmes of learning to be made available for learners to engage with. We will deliver this by working in partnership with learners, businesses, and education providers to ensure we achieve positive results – supporting our residents and businesses to reach their potential and prosper.
While WECA have now closed the application process for new providers for 2020/21 we are always keen to engage with skills providers and businesses as we continue to develop plans for the AEB. If you would like to find out more, and get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org