Adult Education Budget

From the 2019/20 academic year, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will take responsibility for the region's Adult Education Budget (AEB) and how it is delivered.

We will align our funding with priority growth sectors, particularly those targeted through our Local Industrial Strategy, to drive up skill levels amongst our communities to secure sustainable employment and enhance skills at higher levels and ultimately improve productivity across the region.


The AEB aims to engage adults and employers to provide the skills and learning needed in the region to equip adults for work, upskill current employers and find specialist training. The AEB enables more flexible, tailored programmes of learning to be made available in the West Midlands, to help eligible adults engage in learning, build confidence, enhance their wellbeing and provide future opportunities.

WMCA will fund adult education for residents across the region through a range of delivery providers.


The WMCA, in its Regional Skills Plan, sets out the key challenges in the local labour market, including:

  • A low employment rate and high levels of unemployment in some parts of the region
  • Growing issues of poverty for those in employment, driven by low wage levels
  • Low skill levels in the population, with fewer people qualified to Level 4 and above and more people with no qualifications, compared to other areas
  • Persistent skills shortages faced by employers

The WMCA has identified that it can use the AEB to enhance the quality of life, self-confidence and opportunities to its adult residents, while supporting employers to provide them with the talent and skills they need from staff to boost productivity and growth.


We will align our AEB to priority individuals, communities and sectors to drive up skill levels, provide sustainable employment and enhance skills at higher levels, eventually improving productivity across the region. Through commissioning, AEB will focus on the following:

  • Innovate: Develop fresh approaches to learning delivery to meet WMCA priorities in key sectors including construction and digital
  • Talent & Progression: Focus on developing pathways into employment and enhancing the skills of those already employed, enabling progression opportunities
  • Collaboration: Working collaboratively to develop relationships with our provider networks to create an agile and responsive skills system aligned to the needs of business and individuals in the region
  • Sustainable: Develop three-year agreements with providers to enable them to align provision against the WMCA’s key priorities and monitor the impact of this approach

Any enquiries related to the Adult Education Budget can be e-mailed to


Related Documents

AEB Prior Information Notice (PIN) Download