What is the AEB?

The AEB funds the delivery of education and training for learners aged 19­+.

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The AEB funds the delivery of education and training for learners aged 19­+. The funding can be accessed through local training providers or colleges. The AEB aims to engage adults and provide the skills and learning needed to progress in work or equip them for an apprenticeship.  It’s a great resource to enable employers to upskill their workforce and support staff with their career progression. The problem is, not many people are aware of the AEB.

What can the AEB be spent on?

AEB can:

  • Fund anyone aged 19-23 to get a full level 2 or 3 qualification, if they don’t already have one. If you are aged 24+ you may need to contribute towards the cost.
  • Fully fund low waged learners aged 24+ to get a first full level 2 or 3 qualification.
  • Fully fund anyone who is unemployed for any qualification or course up to level 2.
  • Fully fund any low waged individual, for whom English is not their first language, to improve their language skills and knowledge up to level 2.
  • Fully fund English and maths, up to and including level 2, for individuals aged 19 and over, who have not previously achieved a GCSE grade A* – C or grade 4, or higher.

Low wage learners – in 2018, the government introduced a pilot to allow for a more flexible use of AEB to support employed learners who are on a low wage. The threshold is an annual wage of £17,004.00 or lower.

Traineeships – AEB funds traineeships for unemployed learners aged 19 to 24. AEB can also fund additional units, awards and certificates.  This should form part of the flexible element of a traineeship to support the trainee with occupationally specific knowledge and skills.

AEB funds are commonly spent on continuing professional development.

How is funding distributed?

In 2019, the distribution of the AEB was altered.  Instead of all funding being distributed by the ESFA, different regions in the UK became responsible for the distribution of funding. 

The devolution of the AEB enables the UK to move away from a funding system driven by national priorities towards a more strategic regional approach better attuned to local priorities. 

The following devolved areas became responsible for administering the AEB:

Providers who wish to deliver to learners residing in areas where the AEB funding support is devolved will need to discuss funding arrangements directly with the relevant authority.


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