The West of England Combined Authority has taken responsibility for the Adult Education Budget across the region.
Adult Education Budget (AEB) money is now allocated by West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to a range of providers – including colleges, local authorities, independent training providers and voluntary sector organisations – to help prepare adults aged 19 and over with the skills and qualifications needed for life, work, apprenticeships and further learning.
WECA has devolved powers for AEB in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, from the 2019/20 academic year.
It will fund providers to deliver courses tailored to meet the needs of the West of England, and in doing so, provide residents with the opportunity to develop their talents and prosper.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “I want to improve job opportunities for our residents, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can access support to develop the skills they need.
“Having devolved powers for the Adult Education Budget means we can target funding in the right way for our region, helping residents reach their potential and ensuring our businesses can find employees with the right skills.”
The aims of the devolved Adult Education Budget are part of a new West of England Employment and Skills Plan, developed by WECA in partnership with businesses and skills providers, in line with the region’s Local Industrial Strategy.
Tim added: “Our Employment and Skills Plan is about making sure we support our people, communities, and businesses to thrive, and that we are developing the skills we need for the future, to grow our economy in ways that also protect our environment.”