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Adult funding and loans

Many of the qualifications in our Learning for Work portfolio for people aged 19+ are eligible for funding under various government schemes and initiatives. In fact, we design many of our employability qualifications to align with government initiatives, so individuals get the best outcomes from their time on programme.

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Adult Education Budget (AEB) 

The Adult Education Budget funds the training of adults with employability skills. Both colleges and independent training providers can deliver these funded qualifications, providing learning opportunities across regions and communities. After completing AEB funded qualifications, adult learners should be able to progress into work or sign up to an apprenticeship.

Different AEB funded qualifications from NCFE include:

  • Continuing professional development (CPD) qualifications offered by employers
  • Health and social care
  • Digital and media skills
  • Business and administration skills
  • Low carbon skills.

How can I find out if an NCFE qualification is eligible for funding?

You can check our quarterly funding spreadsheet* (needs to be added) to find out about our fundable qualifications, however the most up to date information on those eligible qualifications can be found on the ESFA website.

AEB in a devolved area

Eight devolved Mayoral Combined Authorities manage their own AEB budget. Take a look at our regional learning opportunities page for more information on those areas with a devolved AEB.

Advanced Learner Loans

Advanced Learner Loans are available to eligible learners aged 19 and over who are taking vocational, technical and professional qualifications. These qualifications span levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 as well as A Levels, AS Levels and Access to HE Diplomas. The government pays these loans directly to a centre on behalf of the learner.

Take a look at our guides to Advanced Learner Loans for providers and learners.

Lifetime Skills Guarantee

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee is a government-backed initiative which is transforming the skills system so that everyone, no matter where they live or what their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives.

Any adult aged 19 and over, who does not already have a level 3 qualification or higher can access a fully funded level 3 courses.

Visit the government website for more information on funding.


The Restart scheme, part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, will give Universal Credit claimants who have been out of work for between 12 and 18 months of enhanced support to find jobs in their local area.

The scheme will be delivered across England and Wales in 12 different Contract Package Areas, and referrals are made by DWP to their area contract provider.

Learn more about accessing Restart funded courses on the government website.