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									Funding Feature
Skilled for Life – potential funding sources                                                          Category

2012/13                                                                                       All ages, all providers

             TOP TIP                                TOP TIP                                           TOP TIP

  Skilled for Life provision enables   Providers will, in the main, be able         This Funding Feature outlines other
    centres to build personalised      to use existing funding streams to              sources of funding that could
programmes for their learners using          deliver this provision.                potentially be used to deliver these
  accredited units drawn from five                                                              programmes.
   commonly recognised areas of

Skilled for Life
Skilled for Life provision offers access through a dedicated web portal to a flexible framework of
learning units, with accompanying diagnostic tools and teaching and learning resources. It will
enable centres to build personalised programmes for their learners using accredited units
(initially at Level 1 and Entry 3) drawn from five commonly recognised areas of employability.
It aims to prepare people of all ages and backgrounds to work towards, and secure, sustainable
employment. Centres can use the diagnostic tools to screen learners’ abilities in the basic skills
of maths and English, as well as to identify their strengths, preferences and barriers to
The units of learning are based around five main areas of employability which are recognised as
being essential to work towards sustainable employment:
   English, Maths and ICT
   Industry Knowledge
   Work Experience
   Skills for Work
   Social and Personal Skills.
Funding streams
Providers will, in the main, be able to use existing funding streams to deliver this provision.
This Funding Feature outlines these main funding streams, and some other sources of funding
that could potentially be used:
   Funding for foundation learning programmes (Education Funding Agency (EFA) and the
    Skills Funding Agency).
   The work programme funding (Department for Work and Pensions).
   Funding units for the unemployed (Skills Funding Agency).
   Other funding streams
Funding will of course depend on an individual provider agreeing contracts with the relevant
agencies. Links for further information about all the funding streams mentioned can be found
Foundation learning
Although not a funding stream, foundation learning programmes can be offered under two of
                                                                          Funding Feature – Skilled for Life – All ages, all providers
                                                                               August 2012 – Page 1 of 5 –
the main streams of funding from the EFA (16-18), and the Skills Funding Agency (19+):
      16-18 learner            Adult learner              Employer                          Employer
   responsive funding       responsive funding       responsive funding                 responsive funding
                                                         (other than                     (Apprenticeships)
Foundation learning programmes can be funded within 16-18 learner responsive funding, and
adult learner responsive funding (also known as 19+ classroom learning). It is a flexible
curriculum offer with no prescribed size. It funds a menu of options – qualifications, non-
accredited provision, and work placements – in order to provide learners with personalised
learning programmes intended to enable them to progress to further learning, employment with
training, supported employment, or living more independently. Foundation learning is funded in
accordance with the standard funding rates and regulations and there are no specific additional
delivery requirements or arrangements.
The work programme
The work programme is funded by the DWP and is “likely to represent an investment of several
hundred million pounds… although as payment is primarily for results and success is uncapped,
this is a real chance for the sector to aim high and show what it can do”. It was introduced in
June 2011 to help the longer term unemployed back into work. The programme supports a
wide range of participants including those who are at risk of long-term unemployment and
others who are disabled or have a health condition, and those who may have been out of work
for several years. The support is tailored to individual needs and circumstances, and a learner’s
involvement can last up to two years. It is delivered for Jobcentre Plus by specialist
organisations, mostly large private companies, known as prime providers. Prime providers hold
contracts with DWP – but don’t necessarily deliver frontline services – these are often
subcontracted to providers. The providers take care of JSA claimant, make their initial needs
assessment and support them throughout the job seeking process.
Funding for the work programme is based on results (sustained job outcomes) – there are no
up-front payments at all in latter years of contracts – and providers are free to identify effective
ways of helping people into sustained work.
Units for the unemployed
The Skills Funding Agency fund QCF units for the unemployed with the aim to provide short
sharp interventions to help people back into work. Providers are free to build and deliver short
coherent programmes for learners who need to gain initial skills and knowledge to enter
employment, or to upgrade their skills or retrain. All FE colleges and training organisations on
the Agency's Register of Training Organisations can use this flexibility within the Adult Skills
Budget but it must be delivered within their existing funding allocation. Information about unit
funding has recently been updated by the Skills Funding Agency for 2012/13 delivery – the new
guide explains that instead of having to refer to a list, providers can now deliver any unit within
the rules of combination of a qualification already approved for funding within the Adult Skills
Budget and as part of OLASS 4 or the Offer for the Unemployed (see ‘useful links’ below). The
LARA began to be updated with this information on 23 July and providers will be informed via
Update when the units are made available.
Other funding streams
Supported internships are funded by the Education Funding Agency and from this Autumn
they will be trialled by 14 colleges around England for young people aged between 16-25 who
have complex learning difficulties or disabilities. Trials will test study programmes for supported
internships that could be adopted by all further education colleges from September 2013. A £3
million investment programme will provide structured learning programmes at work which will
be tailored to the individual needs of the young person, and equip them with the skills they
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need for the job. Internships will be backed by expert job coaches and employers, and given a
chance to study for relevant qualifications.
The Prince’s Trust Programme can be funded by the Skills Funding Agency and can involve a
12-week course designed to improve confidence, motivation and skills. Each programme aims
to recruit a mix of 16-25 year-olds of different abilities and backgrounds, including employees
sponsored by their employers. Programmes can be funded by the Skills Funding Agency but are
run and managed locally by providers in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. For unemployed
learners a full-time programme can last for 12 weeks (420 guided learning hours (glh)). The
glh figure includes any work experience and non-contact time. For employed learners the
programme can last for 20 days (90 glh).
Formal First Steps is funded by the Skills Funding Agency and provides short episode of
learning designed to build learner’s confidence and support the planned progression into longer
(often pre-level 2) provision regulated in the QCF.
The Youth Contract is £1 billion investment to help young unemployed back into work and is
funded by various agencies. It is made up of several strands:
 Voluntary work experience – can last 2-8 weeks, benefits are paid, and travel and childcare
    costs are covered.
 Apprenticeship wage incentives – the National Apprenticeship Service will provide up to
    40,000 Apprenticeship grants (AGEs) to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) recruiting
    16-24 year-olds. The £1,500 grant is available to encourage new employers to take on new
 Wage incentives – worth up to £2,275 each are available for employers who can offer an
    18-24 year-old from the work programme a job lasting at least 26 weeks. They will be in
    place from the end of July 2012.
 Sector-based work academies – funded by the DWP, the programme consists of up to 6
    weeks pre-employment training and work experience placement, and a guaranteed job
    interview. Benefits are paid, and travel and childcare costs are covered.
 Additional support for disengaged 16-17 year-olds – funded by the EFA, providers will be
    given freedom to design and tailor programme of support to help young people move into
    full-time education, and will be paid on results. There will be an open competition for
    providers to participate in this initiative.
The two programmes of potential interest within the youth contract are the sector based
work academies, and additional support for disengaged 16-17 year-olds.
Sector based work academies will be funded by the Skills Funding Agency and the DWP and
are programmes for those on Jobseekers allowance. They can last up to six weeks and consist
of three key components – pre-employment training, a work experience placement, and a
guaranteed job interview. They are intended to be flexible and will be adapted to the needs of
business. If a business is unable to offer all three components they can work with DWP to join
other employers to develop a consortium approach. Participants remain on benefit throughout
the period of the sector-based work academy and Jobcentre Plus can pay any travel and
childcare costs. The employer will not have to pay any direct costs. For the pre-employment
training Jobcentre Plus and providers will work with employers to design the content of sector
specific training to meet the needs of business and the local labour market.
Additional support for disengaged 16-17 year olds is funded by the EFA and aims to move
NEETs to sustained education, Apprenticeship or employment with training. It is a 3-year
scheme managed by the EFA. A national specification will procure provision and programmes
will be designed to help people over 12 months. The funding will supplement support already
being provided. Providers will be paid by results to a maximum of £2,200, in 3 payment points
(initial payment, re-engagement payment, and sustainability payment).

                                                            Funding Feature – Skilled for Life – All ages, all providers
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The Employer ownership of skills pilot run by the UKCES offers employers direct access to
up to £250 million of public investment over next 2 years to design and deliver their own
training solutions. The deadline for applications to the first round of the fund closed on 26 April
2012 and the results are expected shortly. No dates have yet been given for the opening of
second round. The pilot invited employers to develop their own proposals for improving skills,
(including Apprenticeships and wider employee training opportunities, training and skills
development) to help people into work, and innovative approaches to design and delivery of
training and workforce development. Proposals needed to set out the outcomes to be achieved,
the rationale behind the propositions, why they could not be achieved through existing funding
routes/delivery channels, mechanisms by which they would be delivered, and the level of
private/public investment needed. The public investment will be provided directly to successful
employers. The pilot is worth up to £250 million of public investment over two years from
August 2012 (up to £50 million in 2012/13 and up to £200 million in 2013/14) subject to
quality bids from employers and positive evaluations.
The European Social Fund which is routed through the Skills Funding Agency and the DWP is
available for programmes that focus on the unemployed or those at risk of unemployment
because of low skill levels. Funding is negotiated and accessed via open and competitive
tendering and funding.

Useful links …
Education Funding Agency Funding guidance for young people 2012/13 – Funding regulations
Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules 2012/13 – Version 2
DWP website
The work programme
Unit funding – further information
DfE website – Helping young people with special needs into work through new supported
Youth contract – key initiatives
More on the youth contract
DWP funding – more on sector based work academies
EFA funding - Youth Contract provision for 16- and 17-year-old NEETS – specification and
information for bidders are available at
More on the 25 colleges funded to deliver work experience for 16-19 year-old NEETs
More – UKCES website, prospectus
More on the European Social Fund from the DWP, and the Skills
Funding Agency
                                                               Funding Feature – Skilled for Life – All ages, all providers
                                                                    August 2012 – Page 4 of 5 –
Watch out for …
Further details and resources for the Skilled for Life provision.

Funding Features are intended to help colleagues understand the key rules in the various funding methodologies used by the funding agencies. Information is
correct at the time of writing and is offered in good faith. No liability is accepted for decisions made on the basis of information given. Please see the websites
of the relevant government and funding agencies for the official, and detailed, funding guidance.

                                                                                                        Funding Feature – Skilled for Life – All ages, all providers
                                                                                                              August 2012 – Page 5 of 5 –

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