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Skills Funding Agency confirms funding increases for 2016-17

14 December 2017

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has circulated funding allocations to colleges for the 2016-17 academic year covering apprenticeships, traineeships, further education loans and adult education. This includes an increase in apprenticeship funding of 3% extra for 16 to 18-year-old apprenticeships and 19% extra for 19+ apprenticeships. There is also a further switch of funds towards the further education loan scheme. In response, Julian Gravatt, Assistant Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges, said: “In announcing the funding allocations for colleges for the 2016-17 academic year, the Skills Funding Agency is providing some stability for colleges in the adult education budget as well as increases in the funding available for apprenticeships. “Adult skills funding has been cut by more than 35% in the last five years so the decisions made in the Spending Review to direct more money to apprenticeships and to fix the adult education budget in terms of cash allocations are welcome. Although this does not restore past spending cuts, these allocations will help colleges as they make reforms in response to the Government’s apprenticeship and devolution plans. "At a time when the Government has identified low productivity as a problem for the UK economy, there is an opportunity for colleges, employers, local enterprise partnerships and councils to work together to identify areas where these funds can be used to the greatest effect. It is already very late to make changes for a year that starts in August 2016 but work should begin now to prepare for 2017 and beyond. It would help if the Government could find a way to issue two or three year funding allocations for colleges rather than one year budgets.”