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Adult Education Budget

Devolution of the Adult Education Budget (AEB) from 1st August 2019 enables the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (the Authority) to take responsibility for delivering high quality Adult Education in the local area.

Lifelong Learning For All

We’re working to ensure Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is an amazing place to live and to work.  We want all residents in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to have access to motivating and inspiring learning opportunities throughout their life.

We work closely with colleges, training providers, local councils and employers to ensure a wide range of high-quality education and training courses are available for adults to retrain and upskill no matter their age.  Courses will help residents to:

  • gain valuable qualifications that boost employment prospects, skills and knowledge for well-paid jobs, rising incomes, sharing prosperity in our region
  • accelerate promotion at work and progression to courses at Level 2 and 3 or to higher education
  • build confidence, self-esteem and community connection through volunteering
  • improve health and wellbeing through enriching learning opportunities

Read our Devolution Report here

Find a Course

Use our Find A Course search tool to see what’s on offer near you or download our latest Adult Learning Offer. Use the links below to take you to college and provider websites for the latest course information and to enrol.  If you can’t find the course you’re looking for, check if it’s funded here.


Adult Education Budget

Education and training courses for adults aged 19+ in England are funded through the Adult Education Budget (AEB). From August 2019, this was devolved by central Government to us locally in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This means we can decide locally how we spend and use the £11.9m budget that we get every year to improve opportunities and life chances of residents.


Our Colleges  

The following colleges run a diverse selection of courses for adults, including technical and professional courses, many are fully funded through AEB:


Our Adult Learning Services

Our local councils run 100s of free courses from various venues in the community across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including the library network, community centres as well as online learning:

Our Training Providers

Our local training providers run a wide range of courses from local centres and online:

Entitlements to learning.

If you are a resident of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, aged 19+ you are eligible to be fully funded for eligible courses, if you fall into the categories below:

  • You do not have a full Level 2 (equivalent to five GCSEs grade A*-C or Grades 4-9) or full Level 3 qualification (equivalent to 2 A Level passes or , you are eligible for fully funded Level 2 or Level 3 qualifications.
  • You have not passed English and maths, up to and including Level 2 (GCSE Grade 4 or C)

Our Priorities for AEB

Our vision is for the devolution of AEB to be ‘best in class’ of all devolved regions in England. We published our Local Industrial Strategy and Regional Skills Strategy which identifies the challenges and opportunities for increasing and spreading wealth and prosperity more evenly across the three sub-economies in our region: Fenland, Peterborough and South Cambridgeshire.  Our strategic intent is to:

  1. Improve life chances and increase the social mobility of all our residents
  2. Improve prosperity for all by increasing productivity of our work-force through upskilling
  3. Enable unemployed residents to reskill and gain good employment
  4. Improve the quality of life through an enriching lifelong learning offer


We will achieve this by:

  • ‘levelling up’ AEB funding in our region to focus on Fenland, Peterborough and those wards in Cambridgeshire that are within the top 20% most deprived in England
  • Increasing the number of adults qualified to Level 2 and 3. According to analysis by the Centre for Business and Economic Research, the gains for a Level 3 qualification equate to a 20% increase in average wages and a 14% increase in employment prospects.
  • Supporting employers to invest in upskilling their workforce
  • Working in partnership with providers and stakeholders to tailor


Our response to the Covid-19 pandemic

  • All colleges and providers are delivering their courses online. Please speak to your provider if you need support with a laptop or tablet device
  • We are focussing AEB to support our regional response to redundancies. For free careers information, advice and guidance, please click here.

Partnership and Governance

With AEB now controlled locally through the Combined Authority, we are keen to ensure that residents and businesses have a say on how we invest AEB in the region.

Our Skills Committee chaired by Cllr Lucy Nethsingha provides strong local governance and councillors from each district represent their area to ensure residents and businesses benefit from opportunities.  For your local member see the Skills Committee Membership page. Members of the public are welcome to join the Skills Committee as observers and can propose questions to Officers and Members.

You can also contact us directly. We are always keen to hear from residents, learners, providers and businesses, you can email: AEBDevolution@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk


Collaboration, Co-design, and Flexibilities

Our approach is to work in partnership with our family of colleges and providers. We value and support the wider role of colleges and providers as anchor institutions in their communities, to raise people’s aspirations and access to services.

We meet regularly with our colleges and providers to discuss performance and opportunities to increase the Adult Learning Offer and improve. One of the benefits of devolution is that we can agree flexibilities to the funding rules for our residents and businesses.  Every year, we consult on our flexibilities and encourage people to share their views.  Our Consultation findings can be found below and our current flexibilities.


Our Progress and Success

We are committed to a culture of continuous self-improvement under the Combined Authorities’ Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. An independent evaluation of AEB is commissioned each year and reports and recommendations can be found below:

2019/20 AEB Evaluation Report

The local offer


Unlock with Level 3 

European Social Fund


The Skills, Talent, Apprenticeship and Recruitment (STAR) Hub is an ESF funded programme that combines a digital, online platform with physical brokerage and facilitation service. The STAR Hub will create better connections between employers, training providers and learners, creating a dynamic Skills Marketplace across the Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough economy and geography. This “one stop shop” will support providers, schools, colleges, higher education, parents, learners and employers to navigate effectively through the complex skills landscape. The STAR Hub will be provided by the Business Growth Service.


Covid Support Packages


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