From education to employment

Young adults should benefit from new learning entitlement following #AugarReview

All young adults aged 18 to 24 should be given a fully state funded entitlement for learning at level 2 and level 3 as part of any government reforms arising from the Post 18 Education and Funding Review (or Augar Review).

The call from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) would potentially benefit 300,000 school leavers a year who don’t go on to university.  Taking on board advice and support from the LSE economist Lord Layard of Highgate, AELP believes that the estimated annual cost would be £3.9bn based on a proposed £6.5k funding per learner per annum.

Currently the government will fund the learning of 19 to 23 year olds if they are studying for a first qualification at level 2 and/or level 3, but this means that a similar aged individual who already has a level 2 qualification won’t get full funding to progress to level 3.  There is also full funding for English and maths study if a learner did not achieve a grade C/grade 4 at GCSE.

Building on the Augar proposals for new individual learning accounts, AELP advocates a fully funded entitlement for each young adult to support and motivate them to continue their education and training to at least a full level 3 along with the English and maths required and employability skills. 

AELP is also calling for a two-year entitlement of £13k to be applied as an uplift for 16 to 24 year old apprentices, subject to 50% limit of the relevant apprenticeship standard funding band. 

Commenting on the short proposal paper that AELP has submitted as part of the post-Augar debate, Association of Employment and Learning Providers chief executive Mark Dawe said:  

‘The Augar Review quite rightly recommended a switch in emphasis on the funding of the 50% of young people who go through the traditional higher education route and our proposals focus on how the government can best support the social mobility of the remaining cohort.  Achieving a full level 3 qualification is increasingly regarded as a prerequisite for young adults to prosper in an uncertain world with increasing automation in the workplace.

‘The shift away from employing young apprentices under the apprenticeship levy has to be addressed and AELP believes that the proposals strike the right balance of investment required from the state and employer.’

The proposals in the AELP paper can be summarised as follows:

  • Existing Adult Education Budget, national and devolved, is used primarily to assist those needing support prior to level 2, English and maths up to level 2, ESOL and the many other vital programmes supporting progression and employability.  This provision should all be commissioned.
  • Every individual from 19 – 24 who has not achieved a full level 3 has an account for a minimum of £13k (this is an average figure and might need to be adjusted up or down dependent on prior achievement)
  • For all apprentices between 18 and 24 the additional £13k to be available to the employer / provider to provide additional support over and above the basic funding band for the relevant standard for level 2 and level 3 programmes in both levy and non-levy environments. This additional support be limited to, say, 50% of the funding band.

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