Government Grants for Learning, Training and Career Development

The only time you ever receive free education is if you're studying in further education and under the age of 16, or if you're studying a higher education degree and eligible for a student loan. For the rest of us, retraining or trying to learn a new skill without any funding can be quite hard, especially if you can't work as much as you used to or have people dependent on your income. That's why the government has set up a few government grants for adult learning, education, training and courses.

If you're thinking of doing a course for any purpose and aren't eligible for any other straight forward grants - such as student finance - then you should first check with your provider about any funding incentives. You should then check the Directgov website to see what government grants for education/training you're eligible for. Your independent circumstances will allow you to apply for different forms of grants, but the main funding incentives are:


The Adult Learning Grant (ALG)

Government grants for adult learners who don't have children and are not undertaking a higher education course can receive ALG. This qualifies you for up to £30 a week for your first level 2 or level 3 qualification; although it may not seem like much, ever little helps in hard financial times.


Childcare Costs

Alongside the ALG you can receive government grants for childcare costs. Contact your course provider to receive this information and find out how much you can receive, which will vary significantly depending on individual circumstances.


Discretionary Learner Support

If you have already started your course a Discretionary Learner Support will be available to you on the grounds of need. Your college or institution will provide this grant so you need to contact them in the first instance.


Professional Career Development Loans

Professional career development loans are a form of government grants for courses leading to employment but are given out through banks, such as Barclays and Natwest. You can receive anything from £300 to £10,000 to cover living and course costs; the government will pay the interest for the loan whilst you study, but you will have to pay the rest back.

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