What could the future look like and what are Education Providers’ plans for their AEB funding?
We are already seeing more flexibility and responsiveness in adult education provision and AEB allocation, and we expect this will continue in the future. AEB provision will continue to be a flow of activity reflective of demands at different periods across the academic year, but Education Providers will now look to have more than one plan so they are better prepared for rapid change. This includes having adaptable qualifications and teaching methods, as well as additional qualifications that can be completed online to keep learners engaged, maintain their achievement rates and promote their personal development remotely.
With the economic outlook changing so quickly, Education Providers will be looking to work more closely with combined and local authorities, and local enterprise partnerships, to ensure their provision is satisfying their priorities in supporting current labour market conditions and also future economic and social developments.
In addition, Education Providers will need to factor in the changing motivations and needs of learners, as well as the ways they want to learn. It’s likely that there will be a rise in learners who want to study online, and we’ve heard from Centres that they are planning to teach digital skills at the start of courses, for example ESOL. With this in mind, there will need to be different engagement strategies in place for different types of learners. This also presents Centres with a new opportunity to reach learners who, due to their location or commitments, are unable to access classroom-based learning.
Now more than ever, adult education provision needs to continue to build resilience in adults with a focus on employability, digital skills, mental health, healthy living and minimising risk.