Government funding for adult skills and 16 to 19 year olds in England is administered by the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Skills funding entitlements for adults are currently undergoing some major changes – for example, from 2013/14 people aged 24 and over undertaking a course at Level 3 or 4 (including apprenticeships) will receive no government support towards the cost of the course. A new student loan system will be introduced for study commencing September 2013 in acknowledgement of the fact that many adults will not be in a position to pay the cost of these courses upfront.

The regulation of training in the UK is less than in many other countries and some policy makers advocate that greater employer investment in skills could be achieved through a range of measures, including: training levies, occupational licensing, procurement requirements and the tax relief system applied to vocational training. However, most employer bodies disagree with this and argue that the existing voluntary approach best serves the interests of employers and employees.

Different funding options:

Useful Links:

  • Tax relief on training – research paper written by Howard Reed of Landman Economics that was commissioned by unionlearn to inform the TUC’s policy development on learning and skills.
  • Skills Investment seminar – Videos from the day – A TUC seminar on 1 December 2011 exploring the trade union role in encouraging employer investment and co-investment and interventions on a sectoral and national level, including licence to practice and reform of tax relief.