The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is pledging continued support for the region’s colleges and training providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Combined Authority has provided reassurance to the sector that it will carry on paying its funded adult education providers for the rest of the academic year despite the impact of Covid-19 on their delivery. This will help minimise disruption to learners, ensure that staff can continue to be paid and support the overall financial stability of the providers.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “As well as being a major public health emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic presents a real challenge to adult education providers across the West of England.
“During these difficult times it is critical to maintain continuity where possible, and ensure we are able to provide long-term viability through continued funding for the education and skills support that our residents, businesses and local economy needs. I want to reassure our providers that we value them and will take all reasonable steps to support them.
“We intend to protect the income of providers, to ensure that a stable and secure network of providers is intact and able to deliver through the current crisis, and carry on once normality resumes. Given this, we are also asking adult education providers to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their staff (including agency staff) and sub-contractors continue to be paid throughout the current crisis.”
WECA will continue to monitor the situation and will review the funding arrangements at the end of the academic year, seeking to avoid duplication with interventions and support, such as further financial assistance being offered by central government.