FREE Courses for Low-Earners launched

Stoke on Trent College is delighted to be able to offer in the new academic year a range of courses that will be FREE of charge to adults who are employed, but on a low income.

The move comes following a government decision, by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), to offer fully funded study to learners on low wages.

This will benefit in particular those learners who take low-paid jobs to make ends meet while they study. Under the current rules, only adults on benefits receive full funding to study.

The aim is to increase participation by adults in learning and lift social mobility barriers. Up till now, to receive fee remission (and not have to pay) for government-funded courses, you would need to be an unemployed adult, a young person aged 19 to 23 with skills below level 2, or an adult aged 19 and over without English and maths up to level 2. Now however, individuals who do not fall into one of these categories may also be eligible for free tuition. 

Anyone earning less than £15,736.50 annual gross salary, (£8.07/hour) will be eligible for fee remission on courses up to and including Level 2, which will open up access to a much wider range of courses for low-earning adults, including ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Accounting, Medical Admin, Early Years Childcare, Plumbing, Electrical Installation, Welding, Hybrid Vehicle maintenance, Hair and Beauty qualifications, Professional Cookery, Taxi driving, Art & Design, Fitness Instruction and Supporting Teaching & Learning.

Mark Whittaker, Director of Marketing at Stoke on Trent College commented: “We are very pleased to see government funding being made available again to help those who need it most – people who feel trapped in low-paying jobs but couldn’t access financial support to gain the qualifications that would help them get on the career ladder. Now we can offer that support, and look forward to seeing many additional adults taking advantage of it.”

To see all courses available at Stoke on Trent College from September 2018, follow this link. To find out if you qualify for a free course, or if the course you are considering is eligible for funding, contact our Admissions team on 01782 603634 or

More courses with government support

There’s more good news – government funding is being given in what is called a ‘career learning pilot’ to two qualifications for adults which would normally require the learner to take out a substantial Advanced Learning Loan, or pay the whole fee themselves.

The two qualifications benefiting from this support at Stoke on Trent College are:

  • AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting – a qualification suitable for those working in accounts and finance teams who are qualified to Level 3 but want to take the next step towards the professional level. Normally this qualification would cost £2573, but has 75% of its cost being met by the government, so learners only need to pay, or take out an Advanced Learning Loan, for a quarter of that.
  • Health and Social Care Level 3 Certificate – this key qualification for working in the care sector benefits from 100% government support, so that instead of a £4650 cost or learner loan, adults will be able to study FREE.

If you’d like to study either of the above courses and benefit from the support available, click on the title to be linked to the course page, and Apply Now to get an appointment with a tutor.



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