Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

EDLounge’s online platform selected for new Government funding pilot

The Flexible Learning Fund will invest £11.7M in adult learning

Online learning and training specialist, EDLounge, has been announced as one of 32 innovative platforms across England to provide adult learning, as part of a new Government funding pilot. The Flexible Learning Fund, which was recently announced by Skills Minister, Anne Milton, will invest £11.7M in a range of projects to help more adults back into the “classroom” and learning new skills. 

Projects are aimed at a range of skill levels – teaching beginners all the way through to those who already have a good understanding of a topic. The Fund will address the four key areas that typically obstruct adult learning: timetable flexibility and convenience, course suitability and relevance, logistical barriers, and other caring responsibilities.  

EDQuals, which was created by former teacher and EDLounge founder, Sam Warnes, provides learning for a range of adult learners in two specific areas: people in employment, looking to achieve technical, vocational or personal development; and those returning to the workforce following a career break, and who want to update skills, undertake enterprise programmes and obtain support in job readiness preparation. The platform, which has been enhanced and developed by 11 specifically chosen expert training providers and training, is fully funded for all learners who have completed a level 2 qualification. Some of the exciting providers onboard include: Successful Mums, a leading training and career advice organisation for mums in London, Beats Learning, a programme formed to help people at risk of social exclusion achieve a qualification in music or performing arts, and the Uganda Community Relief Association, which places priority on developing soft skills, self-confidence and qualifications to support members of minority and ethnic communities, among others. 

Sam commented, “It’s an exciting time for EDLounge; to have our EDQuals platform recognised for its innovativeness alongside the very best the country has to offer is a huge achievement and one that we’re incredibly proud of. But, it’s now that the hard work starts! We have some very strict targets in place - we want to reach 3,000 adult learners by the end of this year, 4,500 by the end of 2019, and 6,000 by the end of 2020. No small feat, but I’m confident in the skills of the amazing providers we have brought on board, and the ability of the EDLounge team. Reaching the unreachable and making learning and upskilling accessible to all is our whole ethos”.

Jane Knight, founder of Successful Mums, explained why they were keen to get involved: “We are thrilled to be involved in this innovative project. From our point of view, the virtual training is another option for helping women who are planning to return to work. Women who have taken a career break might not be able to get to one of our training centres, have limited child care or prefer to learn on line so the ability to access a full suite of training resources online removes so many barriers in women’s journey back to work.” 

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