From education to employment

Adult Education Services in Liverpool: Free Courses For Low Income Learners

Level two courses will now be available – free – to people earning up to the Living Wage in Liverpool

Adults who may have missed out on educational opportunities the first time round will have the opportunity to improve their skills and advance their careers.

Low-income learners across the Liverpool City Region will be able to access free level two courses thanks to support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for a scheme that fulfils Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s election pledge to “give a second chance to everyone”.

The city region’s devolution agreement means that the Combined Authority is now responsible for £51.3m funding for adult education courses for residents of the Liverpool City Region. Devolution has enabled the Liverpool City Region to raise the threshold on a scheme to fully fund more people on low wages to improve their skills.

That means that free level two courses will now be available to people earning up to the Real Living Wage – £17,550 per year – rather than the previous threshold of £16,009.

Liverpool City Region will become the first combined authority to run a series of “Test and Learn” pilots offering training in the vital areas of English and Maths, Digital Skills and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), supported with £1.95 million from the Adult Education Budget.

The bulk of the £51.3 million Adult Education Budget will support adult education delivered by the city region’s further education colleges, local authorities and other learning providers.

Speaking about the change, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“In my election manifesto I pledged to deliver a second chance for everyone and, as we take over responsibility for adult education funding, I’m proud that we are now able to fund free training for people earning less than the real living wage.

“This means that adults who may have missed out on educational opportunities the first time round will have the opportunity to improve their skills and advance their careers. Having new powers over adult education has enabled us to make a decision that will directly benefit more people in the city region. This is only an initial step in ensuring our skills system if fairer and more equitable. This is what devolution is all about.”

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships, said:

“This decision has enabled us to ensure that more low-waged residents of the city region can access the training they need to progress in the work place. That is good news for them and good news for local businesses and exactly the kind of thing that devolution enables us to do.”

TUC North West Regional Secretary Lynn Collins welcomed the move and said:

“This change will widen participation in learning and presents a great opportunity to support residents who are in low wage and low skilled jobs to gain new skills and progress.”

Interserve Group Limited awarded £1,000,000 contract to provide Adult Education services in Liverpool

Interserve Group Limited, the international support services, construction and equipment services group, has won a one-year contract worth almost £1,000,000 to deliver adult education in Liverpool City Region.

Interserve Learning & Employment (Services) Limited (ILE) is one of a group of providers who successfully bid to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to deliver adult education provision.

The contract, which starts on August 1st, 2019, will engage adults and provide them with skills and learning to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

The services Interserve will offer include supporting people to develop English, maths and digital skills as well as Level 2 and 3 qualifications aligned to labour market needs. Other aspects of the contract include pre-employment training; vocationally specific learning; education and vocational skills support for employed people; and skills support for unemployed and economically inactive people.

ILE designed the delivery model based on its 34 years’ experience of training and supporting adults combined with the company’s understanding of what learners and employers require.

In the last academic year ILE supported more than 3,000 learners aged 19 years and over through adult education. For this cohort, ILE delivered an overall achievement rate of almost 90 per cent.

The programme has been funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Adult Education Budget. ILE will work collaboratively with the other successful bidders and local providers to align services to local priorities, so that the organisations contribute to the long-term economic ambitions of the Combined Authority.

Gregg Scott, ILE’s Director of National Accounts, said:

“I am delighted we have won the Adult Education Board contract with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. ILE has been chosen to deliver the contract because of our proven national expertise in supporting learners to progress.

“Each year we support more than 10,000 individuals across the UK through adult education, apprenticeships and other training provision that meet local needs and develop the workforce of the future.

“The contract win illustrates our ability to meet our strategic aim of growing our business with key clients by delivering quality apprenticeships that make a real difference to people’s lives and the community in which they live.”

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