Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced a funding boost for local colleges and learning providers to help them cope with rising costs and inflation.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) will provide a 5% funding increase for current adult skills allocations with local further education colleges and local authority providers and a 5% increase in funding for independent and charitable providers with devolved Adult Education Budget contracts to support rising delivery costs for the current academic year.
Mayor Rotheram said, “The opportunity to study later in life allowed me to make the improbable journey from bricklayer, to Parliament, and now Mayor of the region I love. Adult education took my career in a direction that I never thought possible – and I want to ensure more people in our area have that same opportunity.
“However, rising living costs mean that our learning providers are under more pressure than ever to continue delivering the high-quality training our residents need to thrive. This additional funding will enable them to continue to support both current and future learners and strengthen our skills sector.
“This is an investment that simply would not have been possible before devolution – we’re opening up doors to our residents and building a more resilient workforce along the way.”
At a meeting organised by the Association of Colleges earlier this month, the Mayor heard about the impact of cost of living and particular challenges posed by rising energy prices, where he supported their call for greater skills funding from the government in the Spring Statement.
Following those conversations, the Mayor went away to look at what could be done locally to support learning providers and their students.
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has announced a 2.2% increase in adult skills funding for non-devolved AEB delivery in the current year. The Combined Authority’s devolved powers mean it can provide a 5% funding increase for delivery of adult skills in the Liverpool City Region, reflecting local needs.
LCRCA also recently announced support for learners in the form of payments for the provision of breakfast clubs and other nutrition to ensure learners are ready to learn and are not hungry or out of pocket whilst attending learning.