The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority have been awarded £1 Million to deliver free Level 3 courses for adults across the region.
The funding from the Department for Education (DfE) has been delegated to Mayoral Combined Authorities as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and will deliver free first Level 3 courses for adults aged 24+.
Currently learners aged 24 and over must either self-fund, take-out an Advanced Learner Loan to fund their learning or finance their learning through employer sponsorship.
The funding includes 400 Level 3 qualifications in 20 sector subject areas, identified by government as beneficial for the economy, including: accounting and finance, agriculture, building and construction, engineering, health and social care, ICT, manufacturing technologies, medicine and dentistry, nursing and warehousing and distribution.
The proportion of residents qualified to Level 3 across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is higher than the national average at 60.1% compared to 58.5% nationally.
Despite the region as a whole being above the national average, both Peterborough and Fenland are below the national average with where 49% of residents In Peterborough qualified to Level 3 and 45% in Fenland.
The Combined Authority will be using its devolved flexibilities to level up the proportion of residents qualified to Level 3 across the region and will be targeting additional resources to areas across Peterborough and Fenland to reduce education deprivation.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer said:
“I have always been clear that I want to increase the proportion of residents upskilled to Level 3 because we know there is a strong correlation between Level 3 skills, productivity, and social mobility.
“The gains for a Level 3 qualification equate to a 20% increase in average wages and a 14% increase in employment prospects.
“This funding will allow us to accelerate Level 3 delivery, across the region particularly within the Growth Sectors of our economy which will help us to build back after the pandemic.
“Key to achieving this will be how we target funding into deprived areas and incentivise colleges and providers to work with communities who need the most support.
“We want to ensure people have the qualifications they need to unlock their potential, wherever they are in the region.”