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Gloucestershire Business News

£2.6m boost for community and adult skills in Gloucestershire

Later this month, Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet is set to approve a £2.6 million boost for adult and community learning in the county.

With cabinet's agreement, the county council will benefit from government funding, expected to be around £2.6m, by entering into a funding deal with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Most of the cash would be used for community learning, targeted mainly at adults with low skill levels and economically disadvantaged learners, with a significant sum also earmarked for improving the English, maths and language skills of adult learners.

Making the funding available would mean the county council can support the economy of the county, by helping adults to re-engage with education and giving them the opportunity to progress into vocational training and employment.

With the end of the government's furlough scheme fast approaching, it's feared a number of employees may be unable to resume their work and could be looking for new jobs, as the county's economy looks to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

If cabinet agrees, the council's next step would be to put together effective and high quality learning programmes, including summer workshops, by inviting bids from its existing panel of training providers. Contracts would then be put in place to help underpin economic growth, by providing opportunities for adults in the county to improve their life chances.

Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member with responsibility for economy, education and skills, said: "This support is much needed to boost the local economy and help people and businesses to get back on their feet as we recover from the pandemic. That's why I will be recommending to cabinet that we go ahead and access this funding.

"With furlough ending later this year this is great news for the county and would allow us to deliver learning programmes to help as many as 4,000 adults."

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