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Funding for training

Funding for qualifications in England

Learn about funding options available for City & Guilds qualifications and apprenticeships

City & Guilds provides a wide selection of market-leading qualifications that are fully funded by the government. However, understanding what funding is available in England to support skills development can be complex and sometimes confusing.

funding course directory coverWhether you are an employer, a learner or a provider, the information and links below will help you to understand the different options and pathways to gain the skills you need.

For more information to help you navigate funding available options for different types of students, explore our funded courses catalogue.

Training providers and colleges

There are various adult skills funding routes available for training providers and colleges, depending on the age of your learners, and skills they would like to gain.

16-19 funding information

Learners aged 16-19 years old are legally entitled to full funding for a wide range of government approved qualifications and programmes, such as T Levels, apprenticeships, and other technical qualifications. Government-approved schools, private training providers and local FE colleges receive funding from the government to deliver these qualifications.

Find out more


19+ Adult Skills funding

The funding available for adults aged 19+ varies according to an individual’s age, employment situation and previous level of qualification.

FE colleges receive grants from the government for adult provision, while private training providers normally need to bid for funding for adults in response to a tender or commissioning process by either the Department for Education or a regional Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA). There are several funding streams available to 19+ adults, which we have listed below:

  • Adult Education Budget (AEB)

  • The AEB offers adults aged 19-24 years the opportunity to gain their first full level 2 (equivalent of 5 GCSE’s) or full level 3 qualification (equivalent of 2 A-levels), from a government approved list of qualifications, if they have not previously received one.

    The AEB also provides funding for individuals who are unemployed or have a low level of skills, to enable them to progress from entry level on to level 2 and level 3 programmes, or into work.

  • Free Courses for Jobs

  • This funding offer allows any adult aged 19+ (with no upper age limit) to gain their first full level 3 qualification, from a government approved list of priority skills needed by employers. If an individual is low skilled or low waged, there is also the opportunity to gain a second level 3 qualification as part of this offer.

  • 19+ Advanced Learner Loan

  • 19+ Advanced Learner Loans are available for eligible learners over the age of 19 wishing to study a qualification at level 3, 4, 5 or 6. Learners do not pay back the loan until they earn over a certain threshold.


Apprenticeship funding

Apprenticeships are available to individuals of any age. Apprenticeships are funded via a levy the government collects from employers with a payroll of more than £3 million per annum.

Find out more


Functional Skills maths, English and digital funding

Maths and English are core skills that almost everyone needs to progress into a job and on the job. Because of this, the government fully funds adult learners to gain their first level 1 or 2 maths and/or English qualifications in England.

This includes vocationally related maths and English qualifications called Functional Skills. These are fully funded via the Adult Education Budget (AEB), and available from City & Guilds at entry level 1 to 3 and levels 1 and 2.

Digital Functional Skills are available at entry level 3 and level 1 and are also funded by the AEB.

Find out more

Employers

Upskilling your workforce is proven to lead to better productivity, motivation and staff retention. Employers are facing increasing skills shortages meaning there has never been a better time to learn what funding is available to help you meet the skills needs of your business.

City & Guilds offers a wide range of Awards, Certificates and Diplomas from entry level to level 3 (A-level equivalent) that are funded by the government to help employers and employees increase their knowledge and develop skills for the future.

Learn more about the different types of government funding that may be available to you and your employees below.


The Adult Education Budget

The Adult Education Budget (AEB) supports employees and individuals aged 19-24, to access courses and gain qualifications that improve their productivity, skills and career opportunities. Eligibility for this funding depends on your employee's age and previous level of qualification.

Local training providers have access to the AEB and can help you find out if your employees are eligible for funding, as well as what courses or qualifications would suit the skills needs of your business.


Free Courses for Jobs

This funding enables any adult aged 19+ (no upper age limit) to gain their first full level 3 qualification (equivalent of 2 A-levels) from a government approved list of priority skills needed by employers. If an individual is low skilled or low waged, there is also an opportunity to gain a second level 3 qualification as part of this offer.

Many training providers and FE colleges have access to this funding and will be able to support you or your employees with programmes to improve skills and opportunities.


Apprenticeship funding

Apprenticeships are funded via a levy the government collects from employers with a payroll of more than £3 million per annum. Apprenticeships are a job combined with training and must be finally assessed by a specialist organisation that is independent of the provider that delivered the training.

To learn how we can support you with apprenticeships, explore our apprenticeship webpages for more information about the apprenticeship levy, apprenticeship standards, and our offer as an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO).

Learners

At City & Guilds, we develop qualifications that help you gain the skills you need to progress into a job, on the job and onto your next job.

Many of our qualifications are funded by the government so they may be free for you. However, we understand that finding out if you can get funding for the qualification you are interested in can be complicated.

To help you, in the list below we have shared information about the different types of funding the government offers, as well as links to more detailed information about our qualifications and learner offer, so you can see what types of courses are available in the subjects you are interested in.

Visit our qualifications page

Find out more about what we offer learners


16-19 funding information

The government fully funds qualifications for 16–19-year-olds. You can get more information from your local FE colleges or training providers about which of our courses or qualifications they offer.

Find out more


19+ funding

Government funding for this age group is more complex and depends on whether you are employed or unemployed, what other qualifications you already have, and the level of those qualifications.

In general, if you are unemployed or earn less than £20,319 per year, then you can be fully funded for qualifications up to level 3.

If you are employed and aged 19-24 and don’t have a full level 2 or 3 qualification, then you can still get full funding under the legal entitlement offer.

If you are over 24 and do not have a level 3 qualification, you may be eligible for the Free Courses for Jobs offer, which funds level 3 qualifications for learners of any age from a government approved list of priority skills needed by employers.


19+ Advanced Learner Loan

If you want to take a qualification at level 3 or above and already have a qualification at that level, you may be eligible for the government’s 19+ Advanced Learner Loan, which you only pay back if you are earning above a certain amount.

Find out more


Apprenticeship funding

Apprenticeships are paid for by employers and the government. As an apprentice, you do not have to contribute any money towards the cost of an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a job combined with training, so you must be employed or be willing to apply for an apprenticeship-based job role.

City & Guilds supports all sorts of apprenticeships. You can find out all you need to know on our apprenticeship webpage.

Discover more about apprenticeships


Functional Skills Maths, English and digital funding

Maths and English are core skills that almost everyone needs to progress into a job and on the job. Because of this, the government fully funds adult learners to gain their first level 1 or 2 maths and/or English qualifications in England.

This includes vocationally related (more suitable for work) maths and English qualifications called Functional Skills. These are fully funded via the Adult Education Budget (AEB), and available from City & Guilds at entry level 1-3 and levels 1 and 2.

Digital Functional Skills are available at entry level 3 and level 1 and are also funded by the AEB.

Most local training providers offer courses and qualifications in maths, English and digital skills, and will be able to work with you to decide which level best suits your current knowledge and set you up on a course to help you achieve and gain a certificate.

Find out more about functional skills