Funding for the unemployed

In an attempt to address unemployment figures, especially in the 16 to 24 age group, Government policy continues to be geared towards initiatives such as Traineeships and unit and qualification funding to support the unemployed into training or employment.  Providers can utilise the Adult Skills Budget and the European Social Fund to deliver provision for the unemployed; increasingly this must be done in conjunction with the Skills Conditionality​, that requires learners on active benefits to attend training as a condition of receiving benefits where a Jobcentre Plus adviser considers skills to be the main barrier preventing them from finding employment.

Unit funding

The unit offer allows providers to design and deliver programmes of units which are flexible and responsive to the needs of individuals and local employers. As with the qualifications offer the focus of the unit offer is on engagement, entry into and through work, and progression to the next level of learning. As such programmes of units should be designed with these outcomes in mind and should:
  • result in short and focused interventions to update existing skills or to acquire skills in a new occupational area 
  • enable an individual to move quickly into work 
  • support progress in stages towards achieving full qualifications 
    Where programmes of units are used to support unemployed learners it is important that they are offered a coherent programme. The programme should reflect both their vocational skills need and local employer demand. 

    Where to find unit funding information 

    There is currently no list available which highlights the units that are eligible for funding for the unemployed; rather unit eligibility is based on SFA funding policy. When a qualification is approved for adult funding, subject to the criteria below, all units within that qualification are also made available for funding as part of the unit offer for the unemployed. The only exceptions to this is for units where the content is inappropriate or of low skills value in the context of the overall unit offer. Examples of where unit content is considered inappropriate include units:
  • at Level 4 or above 
  • at Level 3 for learners aged 24 and over 
  • that relate to, or appear in, the rules of combination of at least one qualification with a primary purpose of licence to practise, continuing professional development or a vendor qualification ​
    To ascertain whether a unit is fundable for the unemployed, providers should search for the specific unit on the Learning Aim Search (LAS) facility: 
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    Units are also fundable for unemployed learners undertaking Traineeships, as part of the ‘work preparation training’ component of the programme. For further details, please see the Traineeships section on the Apprenticeships and Traineeships​ page.