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Adult Education Budget

In August 2019, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) took over responsibility for the Adult Education Budget (AEB) and how it is delivered. For the year 2020/21, this budget is £128m.

The AEB aims to engage adults and employers to provide the skills and learning needed in the region to equip adults for work, upskill current employees and find specialist training. The WMCA has identified that adult education can enhance the quality of life, self-confidence and opportunities of adult residents in the West Midlands, while supporting employers and providing them with the talent and skills they need from staff to boost productivity and growth.

We align our AEB to priority individuals, communities and sectors to drive up skill levels, provide sustainable employment and enhance skills at higher levels, eventually improving productivity across the region. We fund education for residents across the region through a range of delivery providers.

In its Regional Skills Plan, the WMCA sets out the key difficulties in the local labour market. Support to tackle these issues is now even more important due to the impact of Covid-19.

The key challenges include:
• A low employment rate and high levels of unemployment in some parts of the region
• Growing issues of poverty for those in employment, driven by low wage levels
• Low skill levels in the population, with fewer people qualified to Level 4 and above and more people with no qualifications, compared to other areas
• Persistent skills shortages faced by employers

We are committed to deliver:
• An increase in the amount of Level 3 provision offered in priority sectors to 3,600 from a baseline of 1,500.
• An increase in provision leading to actual employment with new sector-based work academies offering pre-employment training linked to employer vacancies to at least 4,500 adults.
• Stronger local partnerships, engaging all providers delivering in an area, with a clear and shared commitment to local goals.
• Promoting our offer to residents through online campaigns and community outreach wherever safe and practical
• Testing Level 4 and 5 provision
• Training and learning related to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, leading to sustainable further learning or employment for residents

Residents please view our:
Online opportunity finder which has been created for residents as a result of Covid-19; it covers online training, resources and vacancies
• List of College and LA Providers and Independent Training Providers

For our current AEB providers, there are a range of guidance and information documents available to you. Please view the ‘related documents’ below to access these.

If you have any further queries, please contact us at

Productivity and Skills press release