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Some top tips from centres on ways to support your adult learners and maximise your Adult Education Budget (AEB).

Gateway Qualifications is strongly committed to the value of adult education and wants to help Centres ensure that they are making the most of their allocations to benefit their adult learners.

“ESFA funded AEB aims to engage adults and provide the skills and learning they need to progress into, or within, work; or equip them for an apprenticeship or other learning. It enables more flexible tailored programmes of learning to be made available, which may or may not require a qualification, to help eligible learners engage in learning, build confidence, and/or enhance their wellbeing.”

AEB funding rules for the 2021 to 2022 academic year

ESFA funded adult education budget (AEB): funding and performance management rules 2021 to 2022

Note: If you are a centre with an AEB funding allocation to support adult residents in a devolved or delegated area (known as devolved authorities) you must refer to the devolved authority’s published funding rules. We have provided links to each devolved authority’s funding publications on our Devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) page.

In this piece, we have gathered together in one handy list the approaches and short qualifications that Centres find particularly provide added value for their adult learners. We hope you find this list helpful and if you have any suggestions to add please let us know! And as always, if you want to have a chat please give us a call on 01206 911 211 or send us an enquiry online.

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications

As the newest adult legal entitlement, and with the need to improve digital skills further highlighted by the Coronavirus pandemic, the obvious first place to start is with looking at where you can implement EDSQ.

Gateway Qualifications has been offering Essential Digital Skills qualifications at Entry 3 and Level 1 since September 2020, becoming the first Awarding Organisation to make the qualifications available.

One of the key top tips from early adopter New City College is to start with your existing learners (for more top tips, watch our on-demand webinar). If you aren’t already delivering EDSQ to your existing adult learners, then now is the time to start.

The fully digital, online, on-demand assessments provide the flexibility to assess when and where you want – including remotely during the current Coronavirus restrictions.

The Gateway Qualifications EDSQs provide real skills for the real world, covering the digital skills needed for life, work and study in each qualification.

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQ)

Sector Based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPS)

Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) are receiving an injection of government funding to help tackle the growing unemployment crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

We have introduced additional off-the-shelf SWAP sector packages to support providers to meet the demand for helping newly unemployed learners back into work or into self-employment, including resources designed to support blended delivery during the pandemic and beyond.

The off-the-shelf packages focus on areas that are having the greatest number of referrals from Jobcentre Plus and sectors will be added to meet the needs as the situation continues to develop. We are also seeing an increase in people moving into self-employment so we have added a package for Centres to use to support budding entrepreneurs.

Sector-based Work Academies

SkillUP – Back To Work Courses

Our SkillUP back to work packages make the most of the flexibility of existing qualifications and units to create coherent programmes designed to allow Centres to meet their local needs as quickly and easily as possible.

The pick and mix approach lets you choose the units and small qualifications which best meet the needs of learners in your area.

SkillUP is designed to support learners who need a short intervention or pre-employment training to help them return to work as quickly as possible, or who are choosing to refocus or restart their career with longer qualifications.

In addition to the SkillUP packages on offer, many centres find the flexibility of our existing qualifications allows them to create tailored solutions, Progression, Employability and Vocational Studies are particularly popular with Centres taking this approach.

SkillUP – Back to work courses

Progression Qualifications

Employability Qualifications

Vocational Studies

National Skills Fund Level 3 Offer for Adults

The ESFA now fully funds an additional list of Level 3 qualifications for any eligible adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve a level 3 qualification to enable them to progress in their career.

Qualifications on the list have been selected to support the immediate economic recovery and build the future skills that employers require.

Gateway Qualifications has a range of qualifications on the list, in sectors such as Digital, Construction, Care, Teaching and Learning and Logistics.

Qualifications included in National Skills Fund level 3 offer for adults

Exploring Enterprise

Support learners to develop the kinds of entrepreneurial skills that will be useful if they set up and run their own businesses but will also be useful to them in any work environment. This could provide an alternative route into employment for unemployed adults who may be considering self-employment or setting up their own business. The qualifications can also be used to accredit the learning that results from enrichment activity, such as enterprise week or ‘Dragon’s Den’ events.

Gateway Qualifications Level 1 Award In Exploring Enterprise

Safeguarding & Wellbeing

Topics, such as drugs and alcohol, are often covered in tutorial sessions but not necessarily with any consistency across an organisation. These short qualifications bring together a wide range of diverse issues in a systematic way. Most are assessed through an online, multiple-choice assessment, providing a simple means of checking the learning, without creating an unnecessary burden for either providers or learners.

The qualifications can also be useful evidence to demonstrate to Ofsted that you are providing learners with the necessary opportunities for personal development and learning that will prepare them for life in contemporary Britain.

The online multiple-choice assessments can be taken remotely during the current restrictions.

Safeguarding and Wellbeing Qualifications

Mental Wellbeing

The toll on mental health for both staff and learners during the pandemic is well documented, with one leading psychiatrist saying crisis poses the greatest threat to mental health since the second world war. These qualifications with online assessment will help teachers tackle some key myths about mental health such as ‘if you have a mental illness, you can’t work’ or ‘people with mental illness are often violent’.

They will also help students understand the difference between normal emotional states such as sadness or worry, and mental illness such as depression or anxiety disorder. Students will be introduced to techniques and strategies for keeping mentally healthy and to ways in which they can support their friends and family to do the same. They will also learn about the types of support available for mental health difficulties and how to access them.

Assessment is via an online multiple-choice test, which can be taken remotely during the current restrictions.

Gateway Qualifications Level 1 Award in Mental Wellbeing

Gateway Qualifications Level 1 Award in Keeping Safe and Healthy

British Values

A creative way to include safeguarding in your curriculum, our short qualification with external online assessment allows you to demonstrate to Ofsted that all your learners have a good understanding in British Values. This qualification breaks down complex concepts using straightforward language and accessible, often scenario-based, questions to assess learners’ understanding.

Assessment is via an online multiple-choice test, which can be taken remotely during the current restrictions.

Entry Level Award in British Values (Entry 3) – Qualification Specification

Entry Level Award in British Values (Entry Level 3) – Sample Assessment

Level 1 Award in British Values – Qualification Specification

Level 1 Award in British Values – Sample Assessment

Next steps

If you are interested in delivering any of the above qualifications or would value a no-obligation discussion to help you plan your adult provision for the rest of the year, please contact us on 01206 911 211 or complete our enquiry form and a member of our Business Development team will be in touch to discuss your requirements.

*Originally published April 2019, updated in March 2020. Revised in March 2021,  updated in September 2021