From the 2019/20 academic year, WECA is taking responsibility for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) in Bath and 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.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles said: “The transfer of the Adult Education Budget to the West of England Combined Authority is a key part of the devolution deal. These new powers mean we can take positive action here in the region to address our challenges and benefit everyone who lives and works here.
“We have ambitious plans and there are many opportunities in the West of England. We want to help residents reach their potential and ensure our businesses can find employees with the right skills.”
From the 2019/20 academic year, any organisation seeking to deliver adult education to our residents will need to apply for funding to WECA as opposed to the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Following consultation, the application process for providers is now live at https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/adult-education-budget/. The deadline for submission of applications for WECA’s Adult Education Funding is 3 March, 2019.
To ensure as smooth a change as possible for providers and learners, 2019/20 will be a transitional year. This year’s process is focused on applicants’ existing curriculum strategies and plans.
Find out more at www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/adult-education-budget.