Colleges and training providers that deliver adult education in Liverpool City Region will receive a one-off 5 per cent funding rate uplift this year to help them cope with rising costs and inflation.
The increase will apply to 2022/23 with leaders at the mayoral combined authority reviewing whether to increase the base rate again in the next academic year and beyond.
The move follows a meeting between mayor Steve Rotheram and colleges in the area who spoke of their battle with the cost-of-living crisis, particularly the challenges posed by rising energy prices as well as staffing pressures.
It comes weeks after the Education and Skills Funding Agency announced a 2.2 per cent uplift for the national adult education budget in both 2022/23 and 2023/24, which will also include an additional 20 per cent boost in “vital” subjects such as engineering and maths.
Other mayoral combined authorities have offered bigger in-year increases: both the West Midland and West Yorkshire are offering a 10 per cent boost to AEB funding rates, while London has offered a 3.5 per cent uplift.
Rotheram said: “Rising living costs mean that our learning providers are under more pressure than ever to continue delivering the high-quality training our residents need to thrive. This additional funding will enable them to continue to support both current and future learners and strengthen our skills sector.”
He added that this is an investment that “simply would not have been possible before devolution – we’re opening up doors to our residents and building a more resilient workforce along the way”.
Liverpool City Region took control of its AEB in 2019. The budget for the area totals just over £50 million annually.
The 5 per cent uplift will apply to both the 17 grant-funded colleges and local authorities that deliver AEB in the Liverpool City Region, as well as the 14 other training providers on procured contracts.