The Skills Funding Agency has confirmed that all unemployed learners, including those on ESOL courses, who are both on an income related benefit and seeking work will continue to be fully funded in 2011/ 2012.

In response to a request from the AoC for greater clarity, the SFA said: “The Agency has received a number of requests for clarification following the announcement of increased flexibility for state benefit claimants, who are unemployed and need skills training to help them enter work.

“The Agency confirms that ALL learners in this group will be eligible for full funding, at the discretion of the provider. This provides the flexibility for the same range of learning aims available to those in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group), including ESOL.”

FE Week is currently seeking further clarification with regards to the exact eligible benefits and whether dependants of those on said benefits will continue to be fully funded.

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