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Learners nationwide will be able to access fully funded Level 2 skills training from September when the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) begins a roll out of its individual Level 2 Entitlement (L2E) scheme to all eligible adults across England.

All eligible adults in employment in England will able to access L2E through their employers from April 2006 as part of the National Employer Training Programme.

Under the joint scheme any adult of 19 years and over without a full Level 2 qualification will be entitled to free tuition and advice, regardless of their employment status. Whilst adults with a qualification at Level 3 or above will be deemed ineligible for Level 2 funding, under certain circumstances adults without a full Level 2 qualification may be fully funded to study immediately at Level 3.

Broadening the Local Strategy

Individual L2E has been offered through learning providers in the North East and South East since September last year, but will be fully implemented in all areas of the country when the gradual roll-out is completed in September 2006.

Running parallel to the Individual L2E pilots are a series of Employment Training Pilots (ETPs) which have been operating in 20 areas since September 2002. As part of the L2E project the Employer Training scheme provides employed adults who do not already have a full Level 2 qualification access to Skills for Life and Level 2 qualifications and advice through their employer. The employer receives full remittance of the tuition fee.

Learners will be able to study at all further education colleges, 6th form colleges, and external institutions such as Local Education Authorities (LEA). Adults accessing L2E through their employer may study either during work hours or out-of-hours. The LSC expects the majority of people to study for their Level 2 qualification on a part-time basis.

The Government's Drive

Individual L2Es and the Employer Training Programme form part of the government's drive to improve the career opportunities of those adults without basic qualifications, and to close the productivity gap that exists between Britain and her closest competitors.

"The government's priority is to ensure that all adults have the opportunity to have the skills that will improve their employability. It recognizes that some people where let down in the school system for whatever reason and it wants to offer something that will help both their personal development and careers development," said an LSC spokesperson.

Up to 1,200 adults have taken part in the L2E pilots since they were launched, while 182,000 employees and 23,000 employers have been involved in the ETPs.

Level 2 equivalent qualifications include GCSEs at grades A to C, NVQ at Level 2, and BTEC First Diploma. The first set of qualifications approved for fee remission under the Level 2 Entitlement scheme have been approved by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the LSC and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

Brandon Cheevers

Would you welcome a Level 3 Entitlement? Set the wheels turning in the FE Blog

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