Lynne Jones MP Lynne Jones MP working hard for Birmingham Selly Oak

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NEW FUNDING FOR FURTHER EDUCATION

August 2006

The Government has announced two new initiatives which aim to help working adults engage in further education and improve their qualifications.

The Adult learning Grant (ALG) is designed to help those on low incomes who may find it difficult to make ends meet whilst holding down a job and attending a course. A means tested weekly grant of up to 30 is paid directly into the learner’s bank account. The grant is open to adults who are attending a minimum of 12 hours of classes per week to achieve a qualification equivalent to 5 good GCSEs or 2 A-levels. The ALG will be piloted in Birmingham from September this year. To find out more, contact Learning Direct on 0800 100 900.

The second new scheme is called ‘Train to Gain’ and will help employers access free training for their workers to achieve a qualification equivalent to five good GCSEs. It will support employers to train their staff to higher level qualifications as well. It has been developed from a group of successful pilot studies that were carried out across the UK, including Birmingham, where the pilot scheme was known as ‘Train2Gain’.  

The new scheme has been launched nationwide in October 2006 and has run in Birmingham since April.  The Government is targeting small businesses in particular, which do not traditionally train their staff, and will compensate employers of under 50 people for the time given to workers to attend classes.

Training is central to our long-term prosperity. If you’re an employee, ask your employer what training opportunities are on offer and make them aware of Train to Gain. If you’re an employer find out more information on the support that’s available by visiting www.traintogain.gov.uk.

From April 2007, Train to Gain will be integrated into a wider ranging scheme called ‘Business Link’.  Business Link is intended to provide a ‘one-stop shop' for all business and training support enquiries.   Further information on this wider initiative can be obtained from Mat Danks at Advantage West Midlands (matdanks@advantagewm.co.uk).

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