Applying for the National Skills Fund - are you eligible?

Launched in April 2021, the National Skills Fund is a government scheme aimed at helping adults learn new skills and retrain to boost their job prospects.

Offering fully-funded, employer-recognised courses in a range of fields, the initiative has generated quite the buzz, but there are a few things to note before you apply – including eligibility, course content and flexibility.

Find out everything you need to know about the National Skills Fund, from how it works and who can apply to the different courses available.

Find out more below:

What is the National Skills Fund?

The National Skills Fund is a learning initiative, set up by the government, that provides fully-funded courses to adult learners up to Level 3. It’s part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and will see £2.5 billion in funding allocated to adult learning programmes across England.

From April 2021, adult learners who don’t have a Level 3 qualification can access over 400 free learning courses in a broad range of subject areas. The government has chosen subjects it feels offer the best job prospects, including areas like engineering, business management, agriculture and childcare.

On paper, this sounds like a huge boon for adult learners. But there are a few drawbacks, including eligibility, course content, lack of study support and limited course options.

Are You Eligible for the National Skills Fund?

To receive free training from the National Skills Fund, you’ll need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be over 24
  • You must not already have a Level 3 qualification, even if it's in an unrelated subject to the one you want to study

Unsure about your current qualifications?

Lots of people may have achieved Level 3 without realising it, and it can be confusing to know what different qualifications represent.

As a reminder, Level 3 qualifications are:

  • A-level
  • Access to higher education diploma
  • Advanced apprenticeship
  • Applied general
  • AS level
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Level 3 Award
  • Level 3 certificate
  • Level 3 diploma
  • Level 3 ESOL
  • Level 3 national certificate
  • Level 3 national diploma
  • Level 3 NVQ
  • Music grades 6, 7 and 8
  • Tech level

If you have any of these qualifications you won't be eligible for free training from the National Skills Fund.

Still not sure where you stand? Just fill out the contact form and we'll get back to you in no time!

Not Eligible for the National Skills Fund? Learn Without Limits with Oxbridge…

If you’re not eligible for the National Skills Fund, aren’t interested in the courses on offer, or want the guarantee of greater flexibility and support as you learn, we can help.

Offering distance learning courses in a huge range of subject areas, you can learn without limits, all while enjoying the benefit of unlimited tutor support and total flexibility.

What’s more, if you’re an employer looking to train staff in key areas, we’ll make the process simple. With a free consultation and appraisal, we work with you to provide the tuition your employees need – avoiding all the hassle that comes with managing company training.

Always Here to Help

While the National Skills Fund is a great incentive for many adult learners, it isn’t for everyone.

If you’re ineligible or have a different career path in mind, we can help you realise your ambitions and tread your own path.

For more information on how we can help you succeed, call our expert course advisers on 0121 630 3000.

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