Devolution of the Adult Education Budget is a unique opportunity for the region to take control of its economic growth

Adult education funds will be used to transform lives in Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside. The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) will fund training for North of Tyne residents aged 19 and over, to provide them with the skills needed to gain work, qualifications, and to progress once they step onto the career ladder. Mayor Jamie Driscoll was elected on a promise to establish a regional bank, make the North of Tyne net zero for carbon emissions by 2030, and to overhaul adult education.

He said devolution of the Adult Education Budget was a unique opportunity for the region to take control of its economic growth.

“Adult Education can transform lives,” he said. “It helps people gain new skills and knowledge, and it encourages a sense of enquiry that can increase job chances, enhance life opportunities and build confidence. We’re going to fund innovative projects which really address the economic and social needs of North of Tyne residents, rather than rather than focus purely on qualifications delivered. We’ll use the Adult Education Budget to equip people with the skills, resources and support they need to gain the good quality, well paid work we think will transform The North of Tyne.”

How will this work?

From August 2020, the NTCA will become the funding commissioner for the AEB in – across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. This allows us to focus funding of approximately £22million on the current challenges facing our region; high levels of worklessness and economic inactivity, low employment rates and high in-work poverty. In the longer term, our economy will shift toward growth in sectors such as Digital and Technology, Financial and Professional Business Services, Health and Life Science, Energy, Offshore and Advanced Manufacturing and Tourism, Leisure and Culture.

We are going to work with our providers to drive our residents toward opportunities in these sectors. We’ll also be supporting already excellent local provision. There will be ongoing skills replacement needs as people leave the workforce, with analysis showing that the North of Tyne area also has skills shortage vacancies in Transport, Business Services, Education and the Wholesale and Retail sectors . We are also mindful of economic shocks that may be forthcoming and be ready to respond to these through our provider and stakeholder network.

How will this be implemented?

We’ll be working with further education colleges and local authorities based in and around the North of Tyne area to address these challenges, whilst also working with innovative and high-quality Independent Training Providers selected through the application process.

Applications closed on 6 December and we are currently reviewing all proposals. We’ll be ensuring that we have a high quality and focused offer in place for North of Tyne residents from the 1 August 2020. By working closely with our providers, we’ll be making sure that the AEB will be driving adult learners in the North of Tyne regions towards becoming economically active, increasing their employment prospects, and driving them into better jobs.

Cllr Joyce McCarty, North of Tyne Combined Authority cabinet lead for employability and inclusion said: “Our devolution deal is all about people and we will use every penny to improve their life chances, this is echoed through our positive approach to adult education. We will use this funding to benefit all communities and focus on emerging businesses with a variety of employment opportunities, creating a hotbed of talent where everybody can thrive.

“Alongside this we will continue working with higher education providers, colleges and employers to create continuous development chances as well as the new training opportunities. It is important we provide those already in work with the skills, experience and confidence to continue their career progression, whilst making sure all residents access a fair wage. Our collaborative approach to adult education will help individuals and have a positive impact on communities, businesses and families across the region.”

If you’ve any questions about the AEB devolution, please email

Cllr Joyce McCarty if the North of Tyne cabinet member for employability and inclusion