Want to start your social care career with a course and unsure how to fund it?

The adult education budget, often referred to as the AEB is a UK government-funded initiative that provides financial support for adults who want to broaden their skills, improve their employability, or explore a new career path.

What does AEB funding support?

AEB funding supports different types of courses, ranging from basic skills to technical subjects, such as health and social care, business, and IT. It gives more opportunities for people to progress in their careers, change direction, or get back into work.

By providing adult education funding, the government aims to boost the economy, reduce unemployment, and promote social mobility.

Who is entitled to AEB funding?

The AEB is for adults over the age of 19, who may not have completed formal education or require additional training, to gain the knowledge and qualifications necessary to excel in employment. Please check with your local training provider for further detail.

What if I already have a job in health and social care?

If you’re aged 19 or over, you could access a level 3 qualification in health and social care under the free courses for jobs scheme. This is part of the support available from the government to help you gain the skills you need to get the job you want – whatever your stage of life.

A level 3 qualification is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or A levels.

The qualifications could help you:

  • gain skills that employers value
  • improve your job prospects
  • earn a higher wage

If you’re eligible, you will not have to pay for your level 3 qualification. The government will pay the course fees, generally you can get a free level 3 qualification if you:

  • are 19 or over and do not already have a level 3 qualification
  • already have a level 3 qualification or higher but earn below the National Living Wage annually (£20,319 from April 2023)
  • already have a level 3 qualification or higher but are unemployed

Please check with your local training provider for further details.

Whilst you’re employed

The qualifications range from level 2 to level 5 and are evidence based so need to be done whilst you’re at work.

Other qualifications are also available as well as training to help you develop specialist skills. This could be in things like:

  • dementia care
  • autism
  • communication skills
  • stroke
  • end of life care
  • activity provision
  • team leading.

Speak to your employer about doing qualifications and training, you could also find short courses online, with a local charity/community group, or choose to pay for training yourself through an Advanced Learner Loan.

To get into Social Care

  • Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Care
  • T Level in Health – this is a course designed to give you the technical skills and knowledge that you need for a career in social care
  • Level 1 Award in Preparing to work in the care sector
  • Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to work in the care sector
  • Level 3 Certificate on Preparing to work in the care sector.

Training providers:

The following education organisations work in partnership with the Adult Social Care Academy hub to deliver a range of relevant skills (e.g., ESOL and vocational), employability training, qualifications and courses through the Adult Education Budget, as agreed through the Mayors Academy Hub.

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