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Veterans: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 165505, tabled on 9 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to enable veterans to study for educational and vocational qualifications.

Answered on

17 March 2021

While there are no specific eligibility provisions for veterans within the Adult Education Budget, they do have the same rights to access educational and vocational qualifications as other individuals.

Residency eligibility criteria mean that an individual is required to have resided in England and have three-year ordinary residency in the UK and/or European Economic Area, depending on their nationality. Armed forces personnel and their family members posted outside the UK are classed as ordinarily resident in the UK and, where relevant, this may contribute towards the three years ordinary residency requirement, provided they are now residing in England and the learning is taking place in England.

Individuals who meet the residency eligibility criteria can access provision including fully funded courses in English and maths, for adults who need to improve their literacy and numeracy, fully funded first full Level 2 and/or Level 3 for learners aged 19 to 23 and fully funded specified digital skills qualifications for adults with no/low digital skills.

They will also be able to access a range of provision funded through the National Skills Fund:

  • We will invest £95 million from the National Skills Fund to support all adults to achieve their first full Level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or two full A-Levels. Currently, adults between the ages of 19 to 23 are eligible for full funding for their first full Level 3. This offer will ensure that adults aged 24 and over are now able to access their first full, fully funded, Level 3 qualification.
  • We will target this Level 3 adult offer on sector subject areas that have strong outcomes at Level 3 linked to labour market need. The offer includes a range of qualifications that are valuable across the economy in multiple sectors, for example, digital skills, accountancy and business skills. This forms part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and provides adults, including veterans, with an opportunity to gain these qualifications at any stage of their lives.
  • Complementing the Level 3 adult offer, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. Skills Bootcamps will address the needs of adults aged 19 and over, providing them with opportunities to retrain, update or formalise their skills or acquire specialist skills.