Improvements to adult education spending to be consulted this week

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson (left) at this week's topping out ceremony for the new university at Peterborough

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson (left) at this week's topping out ceremony for the new university at Peterborough. ARU Peterborough will deliver courses targeted specifically towards industries locally where demand currently outstrips availability of skilled worker - Credit: CAPCA

Improvements to how the adult education budget for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is spent are being consulted on from this week. 

The Combined Authority has had devolved responsibility for the region’s £12 million adult education budget since September 2019. 

The budget funds a range of adult learning and training courses run by colleges, local councils and independent training providers. 

The public, the education sector and employers are being consulted on changes to adult education as well as being asked how it can be improved. 

The feedback will be used to inform spending, with the aim of continuously improving the effectiveness of adult education in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson, said: “The benefit of a devolved adult education budget is that we can listen, learn and adapt our service to the needs of the local community. 

“This consultation is about understanding how we can make the best impact with the money we have”. 

The online consultation survey page can be found online. It runs from 10am on Wednesday February 16 until 10am on March 16. 

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Changes to adult education spending being consulted on include: 


  • A plan to double the number of level 3 qualifications (equivalent to A-level/NVQ level 3) over the next four years. Level 3 qualifications currently make up 1 per cent of all adult education budget spend and the proposal is to increase it to 10 per cent. 

  • This will allow delivery of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses in the workplace, which makes courses more accessible and leads to better outcomes than in other settings. 

  •  Plans to support veterans of the armed forces with skills needed for increased job and career prospects. 

  • Ways to encourage greater participation in adult education, including people on low incomes and care leavers. This includes the earnings threshold at which courses can be offered at no cost to the learner. 

“We are still only halfway through our third year of devolution and the progress so far shows we are making a real difference to people’s lives, especially for those who have most to gain from greater skills and learning,” said Dr Johnson. 

“I encourage anyone who is interested in the future of adult education in the region to take part and have your say. 

“Your views will help us continue to make adult education work better.”