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All About AEB (Adult Education Budget)

Details: Written by Kate Perou |

You’ve heard us say it so many times – ‘FREE online courses’, and so often we get asked how are they be free? There must be a catch? They can’t really be free? The list goes on. But don't worry, we're here to explain...

Free online learning can seem too good to be true but trust us, it’s not! So, how does it work?

To put it simply, it’s Government funding! We support individuals and businesses by utilising Government funding like the Adult Education Budget (AEB), a fund that’s been set up to help support the delivery of education and training courses for adults aged 19 and over. This is the funding scheme behind our free courses in England, and it’s the reason you can learn with us at no cost!

AEB funding is available through colleges and training providers and gives you access to up to four courses, each worth up to £811, every academic year. Here at The Skills Network, we work with partners across the country and help them to use their AEB funding by providing them with distance learning opportunities and resources.

We get a lot of questions about our funded courses, so we’ve put together a list of the ones we get asked most often.

  1. What’s the AEB funding eligibility criteria?

    To be eligible for AEB funding you…

    • Must currently live in England
    • Must be aged 19 or over by August 31st 2022. (There are no maximum age limits)
    • Must have been living in the UK or EU/EEA for the last 3 years
    • Must not have previously studied the course you are applying for or another course where the content is similar
    • Must not currently be enrolled on another government funded education programme, either with The Skills Network or any other provider
    • If you are aged between 19 and 23 - you must hold a full level 2 qualification (e.g. 5 or more GCSE/O Levels at grades A* - C / 4 - 9, 1 A Level, 2/3 AS Levels, 5 or more CSE grade 1’s, GNVQ Intermediate, QCF Diploma Level 2).

  2. Which courses are available via the Adult Education Budget?

    We currently offer 49+ funded courses in a range of topics including Social Care, Health and Fitness, and Business. Take a look at our full course selection here.

  3. Am I guaranteed funding if I apply?

    We will always try our best to find funding for every learner who applies but there may be times when we do not have funding available in your area. On these occasions, we will keep you updated whilst we look for suitable funding from other partners.

  4. I’ve applied, why am I waiting for funding?

    If we are unable to find funding in your area, or all the current funding has been used, it can take us a little while to secure funding for your course via a different partner. Don’t worry though, we’ll be in touch with an update as soon as we can!

  5. How many courses can you complete for free?

    You can complete up to four level 2 courses (worth up to £811 per course) each academic year.

  6. How long do the courses take?

    Our level 2 qualifications take on average between 8 and 12 weeks to complete, but some learners may complete a course faster, or some may need to request an extension if they need some more time. Either way is fine!

  7. How do the course submission dates work?

    All of our courses have submission dates to guide you through your course and help you meet your learning goals. These will be discussed with you during your welcome call with your Learner Support Advisor (LSA.)

  8. Are the courses accredited?

    Yes, our AEB distance learning courses are fully accredited and recognised throughout England. The awarding organisation is dependent on the course and this can be seen on each individual course page on our website.

  9. Are these courses only available online?

    Most of our courses are fully online, but for some courses, you can also request paper-based learning resources then just complete the assessments online. You can find out which courses are available with paper-based learning resources here.

    We’re always updating our social media platforms and blog with helpful information that answers your questions!

    Make sure to give us a follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and keep an eye on our blog for more useful content coming soon.