Updated April 2024

Demand for the government’s free courses for jobs scheme (previously known as the National Skills Fund) has doubled in 2022/23 compared to the previous year.

Statistics released by the Department for Education (DfE) show there were over 10,670 enrolments in the first quarter of 2022/23, compared to 5,080 in the same period for 2021/22.

Qualifications on the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) list are fully funded for any adult aged 19 and over who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification, or for those who already have a level 3 qualification but are unemployed or earn less than the national living wage.

A range of our qualifications at Level 3 are featured on the ESFA’s list of qualifications included in the free skills for jobs offer:

What is the Level 3 free courses for jobs offer?

Originally launched as The National Skills Fund, the free courses for jobs offer is intended to help adults gain the skills needed to improve their job prospects. In 2021 the Government announced it planned to invest £2.5 billion in the fund over the coming years.  The free courses for jobs offer can be used to support the immediate economic recovery and build the future skills that employers require.

Learners are eligible for funding through free courses for jobs from 1st August 2024 if they

  • are 19 or over on 31st Aust; and
  • meet the eligibility of being below the earnings threshold of £25,000° annual gross salary salary

More information about the free courses for jobs offer is available on the ESFA website.

° In devolved areas the earnings threshold may be different

Which qualifications are included?

You can view the full list of qualifications included in this offer by selecting ‘Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs’ in the qualification search. The list will be kept under review and is updated regularly. If there is a need in your area to support adult learners who could benefit from qualifications which are not currently on the list, please contact us to discuss the possibility of adding those.

Gateway Qualifications provision which is eligible includes the following qualifications:


Horticulture and Forestry

Teaching and Lecturing

Warehousing and Distribution


Note: This page was first published in February 2021. Digital qualifications were added in March 2021, and a funding update was added in November 2021.

In February 2023 the page was fully revised and the Level 3 Certificate in Games Technologies was added, correcting a previous omission.

In May 2023, Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care and Level 3 Certificate In Teaching and Learning in Physical Education in Primary Schools was removed from the lists as they are no longer funded. The following qualifications were added to the digital section: Level 3 Certificate in Digital Business Solutions, Level 3 Diploma in Digital Business Solutions, Level 3 Certificate in Social Media for E-Commerce, Level 3 Diploma in Social Media for E-Commerce and Level 3 Diploma in Games Technologies.

In September 2023, Education and Training qualifications were added to the page.

In April 2024, the following qualifications were removed from the list as they have been withdrawn from our qualification offer or defunded: Level 3 Diploma in the Built Environment with Building Information Modelling, Level 3 Award in Education and Training, Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement, Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support, Level 3 Diploma in Landscape Construction.

∞In April 2024, the ESFA confirmed the following qualifications are eligible for the Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs funded offer in devolved regions: Level 3 Diploma in Digital Business Solutions, Level 3 Certificate in Digital Business Solutions, Level 3 Diploma in Games Technologies and Level 3 Diploma in Social Media for E-Commerce; please note funding information to support qualification delivery is subject to learner eligibility, and it is always advisable to check directly with the Education & Skills Funding Agency, devolved region or other funding body before committing to delivery.