The Department for Education has confirmed that will increase the Adult Education Budget for the Tees Valley to £30.6million for 2020/21 following excellent results supporting those aged 19 and over to learn and develop new skills to pursue a successful career.
The cash will be used alongside devolved powers which will encompass adult education delivery, funding, and performance management for Tees Valley residents.
It will also be used to pilot innovative skills programmes that will enable adults to move more quickly into employment across priority sectors – such as logistics, construction, healthcare and digital – equipping them with work-ready skills.
Since the Mayor took control over the budget in August last year more than ten thousand local people have been supported through the funding.
An initial budget of £29.5m to support learners aged 19 and over was devolved from central Government in August 2019.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Thanks to our devolution deal and because we agreed to a directly elected Mayor, we are able to invest in home-grown talent and help thousands of people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool get the skills they need to start on the path towards a successful career here in our region.
“I am delighted with the work we have done so far, but there is still more to do We can use this new pot of cash to prioritise the skills and the training our businesses are crying out for, allowing them to invest, grow and develop home-grown talent. We don’t just want to create well-paid, highly skilled jobs, we want them filled by local people.
“This is yet further proof of devolution working and shows the benefits of decisions being made by people not in London, but by those in our region who understand the needs of local people, and the priorities of local business.”
The funding for adult education is on top of the £55million funding for education, employment and skills agreed in the Tees Valley Investment Plan in January 2019.
Councillor Bob Cook, Combined Authority Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills and leader of Stockton Borough Council, said: “We want our residents to have the opportunity to access rewarding careers across Tees Valley. Having this budget means that we can make local decisions to decide where best to spend our money to change the fortunes of people across the region.”