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Mayor launches £9m boost to help learners access training

Wednesday May 27th, 2020

Londoners who have been unable to access training because of the restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 are set to benefit from new funding from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.Sadiq Khan

The Mayor is making up to £9 million available to help skills providers offer their courses online, as well as targeted support for learners who may have difficulties accessing such services.

This will help learners develop the skills they need to access employment, gain confidence in using digital tools – as London moves to more online working and learning – and help them gain the wider social and economic benefits of acquiring new skills.

The funding is being allocated from the Adult Education Budget (AEB), which was devolved to London in 2019.

Around £6 million will be made available through a new Skills for Londoners Covid-19 Response Fund, which will be accessible to colleges and local authorities which already receive a grant from the AEB.

The Fund will be split into two strands. The first will fund an expansion of online learning, targeted at furloughed workers and the self-employed (who are earning less than London Living Wage as a result of Covid-19), those made redundant as a result of the pandemic, and key workers in need of additional training to meet the changing needs of their jobs.

The second will build capacity in the skills sector in order to support learners at risk of exclusion with the shift to digital learning. It will fund improvements to digital infrastructure, develop staff to ensure they can deliver online learning, and redesign courses usually delivered in classrooms so they can be delivered effectively online.

A further £3 million will be available to procured providers – largely private companies and charities – which are also funded through the AEB, in order to help expand their provision of online learning.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“The necessary restrictions to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 have caused significant disruption to every aspect of our daily lives.

 London’s fantastic skills providers should be congratulated for the speed and resilience they’ve shown in moving their courses online to help Londoners continue to acquire vital skills. But we know that some providers need help in making the switch to online learning – and that some Londoners require support to access this training.

 I’m confident this funding will have a significant impact for providers and learners. I’m committed to doing all I can to help Londoners to gain the skills they need to access employment, despite the difficulties we face now and in the coming weeks and months.”

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