England map segmentTraining in England

    The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) aims to help employers develop their businesses through improving the skills of their workforces. Skills Funding managers work closely with employers to help them find relevant training programmes. As there are a number of support routes available, the SFA has taken responsibility for them in order to provide a clearer picture to employers.

    Services available are:
    • Apprenticeships
      • A proven way for businesses to train their workforce, Apprenticeships can make organisations more effective, productive and competitive by directly filling skills gaps.

    Funding in England

    Education in England is funded through a mixture of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), Local Authorities (LA) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA). The type of learning you wish to pursue or offer will influence where your funding comes from.

    • The Skills Funding Agency (SFA)
      • The SFA is responsible for the provision of all post-19 education, training and Apprenticeships in England, with the exception of Higher Education (HE). It is part of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The SFA funds and regulates adult Further Education (FE) and skills training in England to ensure that businesses and individuals can access skills training, controlling a budget of around £4 billion per year. It includes the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) which looks after Apprenticeships. Through account managers, providers can access financial guidance for all their adult and apprenticeships skills business. Providers receive an individual funding envelope based on their track record, and have autonomy over allocating this budget to deliver local skills training that best meets the needs of business and community.

    • Local Authorities (LAs)
      • England's 150 LAs have responsibility for the commissioning and funding of all training and education directed at 16-19 year olds, including sixth forms, FE colleges and private and voluntary training providers. This is done in consultation with the Education Funding Agency (EFA), which provides strategic overview. The exception to this is Apprenticeships, which are funded by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) via the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

    • Education Funding Agency
      • The EFA brings together work previously carried out by the Young People's Learning Agency, Partnerships for Schools and the maintained schools funding division of the Department.

        It is responsible for:
        1. Providing funding for the education of pupils in academies
        2. Distributing the Dedicated Schools Grant for the education of pupils up to age 16 in local authority maintained schools
        3. Providing funding for all 16-19 education and training
        4. Providing funding for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities aged 16-25
        5. To support the delivery of capital programmes for schools, academies, Free Schools and sixth-form colleges.

    Learner Information for England

    A number of sources are available that can provide advice on funding and learning opportunities.

    • The 16-19 Bursary Fund
      • The 16-19 Bursary Fund helps 16- to 19-year-olds continue in education, where they might otherwise struggle for financial reasons. It is made up of two parts - bursaries of £1200 a year to the most vulnerable young people and a discretionary fund for schools, colleges, academies, training providers and local authorities (providers) to distribute.

    • Careers Advice Service
      • A free, impartial and confidential service provided over the phone and web for adults seeking information and advice on courses and careers.

    • Discretionary Learner Support
      • If you're aged 19 or over and on a further education course and facing financial hardship, you could get Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) to help with learning costs. It can be used to help pay for childcare, accommodation and travel, course materials and equipment and other hardship needs.

    • Professional and Career Development Loans
      • Professional and Career Development Loans are bank loans set at a competitive interest rate that learners aged 18 years and over can use to help pay for learning that leads to work.

    • Offenders Learning and Skills Service (OLASS)
      • Aims to offer offenders in prisons and those under community supervision access to learning and skills, enabling them to gain the qualifications needed to achieve and hold down employment.