Mayor backs education funding for Ukrainian refugees arriving in West Yorkshire

Adult Education Budget funding allows the Combined Authority to support Ukrainian refugees settling in the region.

Overseeing a budget of £65m to improve adult education in the region, Mayor Tracy Brabin and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is working hard to improve the skills of over 380,000 people in West Yorkshire who have few or no qualifications.

A recent revision of Adult Education Budget (AEB) funding rules means that West Yorkshire Combined Authority can now support Ukrainian refugees settling in the region, helping them to improve skills and their employability through apprenticeships, traineeships, and courses.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

“The atrocities taking place in Ukraine have shocked the world. I’m so proud that communities across West Yorkshire have pulled together to provide sanctuary for Ukrainians who’ve been displaced by war. I’m pleased to be able to do my part by providing support for refugees to access apprenticeships, traineeships and skills courses to help them to settle in our region.”

“This builds on our recent decision to open free courses to thousands more working adults, by increasing the low pay threshold from the minimum wage to the national Living Wage.”

“Devolution has allowed us to make changes to increase the impact of the Adult Education Budget in our area such as this. We now have more autonomy to make strategic decisions on the priorities for the people and businesses of West Yorkshire.”

All Ukrainian adults and their family members supported through the Ukraine Family Scheme, Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme and the Ukraine Extension Scheme are now eligible for Further Education 19+ funding and are exempt from the 3-year residency requirement in the current AEB funding rules.

Our partnerships will focus on providing a range of courses ready for settlers to be supported with English language in addition to a wide range of other skills for life and work in the UK.

The educational package in place for refugees will help to alleviate the labour shortages which are currently widespread across different sectors of the economy across West Yorkshire – helping to boost our regional economy and meet the needs of our employees.