From education to employment

£4m learning fund created to transform communities

The Skills Funding Agency has launched a community learning fund aimed at individuals 19 years and over. The fund will support adults who do not pursue a typical Further Education route, but still want to attain a developed skill set.

Called the Community Learning Fund (CLF), it will be managed by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), and will provide up to £65,000 in grants. There is a total amount of £4 million, which will be shared between organisations and groups in England. The money will be used to help original and inspired community learning ideas, specifically for adults to progress, excel and adopt FE.

The fund sets out to support ventures that have developed in light of the new policy reforms made by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), New Challenges, New Chances. Funding will be provided for projects that show an extended participation, promote strong communities, make best use of learning and uphold the positive effects of learning.

Geoff Russell, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, said: “We have recently celebrated Adult Learners’ Week, and been inspired by how learning can transform people’s lives by giving them increased self-confidence, a better quality of life, building stronger families and communities.

“We know there is no one-size fits all model of learning, and what is really exciting about this Fund is that it empowers community organisations to think creatively about how they respond to the needs of local people in a sustainable way.”

Sue O’Gorman, NIACE’s programme manager, said: “We have seen with the recent Adult and Community Learning Fund how even a very small project can make a huge difference to the lives of individuals, their families and the communities they live in. Together we can help transform the destinies of some of the most marginalised people in society by helping them to progress in ways that are most relevant to their lives.”

Natasha Spencer

Related Articles