New fund will pay for IT equipment for Mersey adult learners

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has allocated £915,000 to a new fund that will pay for equipment to allow adult learners to complete their courses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tony McDonough reports

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New city region fund will help learners to complete their courses


Adult education providers in the Liverpool city region can apply for grants to ensure learners have their equipment to continues their courses online.

Due to the COVID-19 many educational and training course have had to be delivered online. However, not everybody in Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton has access to the equipment they need.

Now the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has allocated £915,000 from its £55m adult education budget to a new fund. It will offer grants to adult education providers of between £15,000 and £40,000 to pay for computer equipment.

Providers including colleges, independent training providers and local authority providers of adult and community learning, will now receive the grants to enable them to provide learners, aged 19 and over, with appropriate resources.

Contracted providers have been given guidance as to how this funding can be used to benefit learners. It includes supporting those who are self-isolating or caring for others affected by COVID-19 and unable to go to classes, those who don’t have internet access at home or don’t have a suitable device on which to compete the necessary online course work.

Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “These past few months have shown how valuable digital skills are and they’ll be even more valuable as more and more jobs and businesses embrace online working.

“We’re investing almost £1m to ensure that learners across the region have access to the tech that they need to keep up their studies. We will do our best to make sure wherever possible that nobody falls behind or is left behind because of the difficulties caused by COVID-19.

The first adult education provider grants should be made available in November. For more information on the adult education budget and contracted education providers click here.

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