How Colleges Can Best Utilise the Government’s National Skills Fund

From April 2021, learners aged 24 and over, and without a full Level 3 qualification, will be able to access hundreds of fully-funded Level 3 courses. This offer is part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee which was announced by the Prime Minister in September 2020. 

At the AoC Annual Conference in February, Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson said Colleges will be absolutely key in delivering this new offer and ensuring adults across the country can develop the skills they need to get ahead in the labour market.”

Mindful Education is keen to support our college partners with this new national initiative which provides adults with the opportunity to train for higher-skilled, better-paid jobs. Professional Level 3 programmes that are eligible for this new funding are:

  – AAT Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping (Online and On Campus)

  – AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Online and On Campus)

  – CMI Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Management and Leadership (Online and On Campus)

Long-term approach
Mindful Education’s Director of Marketing and Student Engagement, Matt Brown, believes that colleges can maximise the positive benefits of this new funding by taking a holistic approach: 

“In terms of accessing National Skills Funding for AAT accounting courses, we are recommending to our college partners that they continue to focus their main recruitment efforts at Level 2 entry and then build to Level 3 by progressing the right learners. We believe this approach will be the most effective way to identify, reach and communicate with learners who are eligible for this new funding, while ensuring strong achievement rates on the Level 3 programmes.” 

Matt and his team are also recommending that colleges include clear information about the National Skills fund in their marketing for Level 2 courses as well as for the Level 3 courses themselves. 

Funding Uplift 
The Government has also recently announced a funding uplift for eligible courses in order to scale up the delivery of level 3 provision for adults. The uplift consists of: 

  • £600 for larger qualifications (360+ GLH); and 
  • £150 for smaller qualifications. 

If you would like to get in touch with Mindful Education to find out how we can support you in the delivery of the fully-funded Level 3 qualifications, then please contact


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