Adult Skills Budget in line for 19 per cent funding cut

The government’s Adult Skills Budget is facing a cut of 19 per cent by 2016, the long-awaited Skills Funding Statement (SFS) has revealed.

The document, which was expected following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in December, was released today.

It shows that the Adult Skills Budget will fall from its current rate of £2.467bn to £2.004bn by 2016, a cut of more than £463m, or 19 per cent.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock has also announced that government funding will be extended to all apprenticeships after the failed application of the FE loans scheme to the programme for over 24s.

Mr Hancock confirmed that apprentices over 24 would be removed from the scheme, and the SFS document confirms that loans already issued will not have to be repaid.

He said: “The newly-available loans for FE have seen a high level of demand, however, loans for apprenticeships have not seen the same uptake.

“We will therefore remove apprenticeships from loans and offer a government contribution for all apprenticeships while continuing to expand the loans budget to deliver training on the ground.

“We are working hard to make sure that the skills system is both rigorous and challenging, meeting the needs of individuals, employers and the wider economy.

“Our continued focus on high quality provision will support learners to give them the skills they need to succeed in a modern workforce.”

Other changes in the document include the extension of the government traineeships scheme to 24-year-olds, and the introduction of a monthly limit to “strengthen the rigour” of a funding cap for learners introduced last year.

Download the BIS Skills Funding Statement 2013-2016 here

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  1. There is much good in the Government’s reforms of the skills system and we are all committed to helping people to achieve the skill standards needed by employers to drive forward the economy. But when we are just coming out a very deep recession is this the right time to make a major cut in the investment to raise skill standards.

    Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director, NOCN

  2. Martin Taylor

    Doesn’t anybody in Government realise that there will come a point where it just won’t be economic to offer adult education?

    I work for a local training provider and we can no longer even afford a toner for one of our printers, let alone new/replacement computers!

    As a company now we will have no choice but to look a stop offering training to the unemployed and work strictly with companies.

    It’s the early eighties all over again – within 18 months we will see a sharp decrease in the number of places available as more and more companies either switch to different incomes or go under!

    Things were already intolerable – this is where they will collapse.