The government is aiming to support people who participate in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes through the Adult Education Budget. The government currently provides full funding of the course costs for people who are unemployed and looking for work. Participation in English Language training is a requirement for all new claimants where poor English is a barrier to securing a job.
All other eligible learners are co-funded with the government providing half the costs. The other half of the funding is flexible with the ability to top up the 50% through colleges or other providers. Learners can also access courses such as Functional Skills English, which are fully-funded up to Level 2 for all adults in England.
To open up new routes to learn English, the government are going to launch a new community-based programme in places where there are the highest concentrations of people with little or no English. It is hoped this will encourage people who may have a lack in confidence to take up a course and help those overcome a reluctance to learn English.
Conversation clubs are usually run by volunteers to help learners put their skills into practice in a supportive and friendly environment. A new England-wide scheme to strengthen existing volunteer-led support will be introduced to encourage more volunteers to participate in setting up and running new conversation clubs.
In order to improve pathways for learners, the government have proposed a new strategy for English Language that will reflect the importance of English language in achieving a number of different social and economic outcomes. They are inviting views on the possible content and are proposing to work with businesses to see what more they can do to encourage learning in the workplace.
For further information on what the government are doing to support people participating in ESOL, please click here.