The Government has announced two new
initiatives which aim to help working adults engage in further education and improve their
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 learners 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
youre an employee, ask your employer what training opportunities are on offer and
make them aware of Train to Gain. If youre an employer find out more
information on the support thats 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).