Skip to main content

Adult Education: Fees and Charges

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the average fee cost was of a further education level 3 course for adults in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (320529)

Learners aged from 19 up to 25 undertaking further education courses which will lead to their first full level 3 qualification (two A-levels or vocational equivalent) are legally entitled to have their training fully funded. This approach ensures that young adults have the opportunity to gain a full level 3 qualification, enabling them to progress into employment or further learning, including higher education.

Where a learner is outside of this entitlement and is not in receipt of income-related benefits then they or their employer is expected to contribute to the cost of their learning to reflect the benefits they will realise from this investment. For the 2010/11 academic year, the assumed level of fee contribution will be based on 50 per cent. of the national funding rate.

However, individual colleges and training organisations, as independent institutions, have the flexibility to set their own fees for each course, and data on the levels of fees collected for each course are not centrally collected. It is therefore not possible to provide an average cost of a further education level 3 course to the learner.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the average course fee paid by employers taking on adult apprentices was in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (320530)

In 2008-09 academic year, the number of apprenticeship frameworks completed was 143,400, meaning that the Government's public service agreement target was met two years early. Within this group, 75,700 of these apprentices were adults, aged 19 and above. Adult apprentices are funded differently from those aged between 16 and 18, and the employer is expected to make a contribution to the cost of the course in line with the national fee assumption, which for 2010/11 academic year will be 50 per cent. of the national funding rate. Employer contributions may be in cash to the training provider or in kind through supporting the delivery of the training activity.

However, individual colleges and training organisations, as independent institutions, have the flexibility to set their own fee cost for each course, including apprenticeships, and data on the levels of fees collected for each course are not centrally collected. It is therefore not possible to provide an average fee for an adult apprenticeship.