19 July 2021 | Produced by Kandy Shaw
In support of Welsh residents who wish to upskill, the Welsh Government now have two training packages on offer. One is ReAct funding and the other is a Personal Learning Account (PLA). ReAct caters more for those who have been made redundant or unemployed recently. The Personal Learning Account caters for those who are currently in employment, but in an insecure role such as temping; zero-hour contract, or who are at risk of having their employment terminated.
So, if you live in Wales and are looking to learn new skills, gain more qualifications and thereby improve your employment possibilities, this post is for you, as it explains a little about the two forms of Welsh funding available.
ReAct funding is for people who are over 16 who live in Wales and have been made redundant or unemployed in the past 12 months. Part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government (WG), the ReAct programme aims to help people gain new employment by learning new skills or updating existing ones.
Three Elements to ReAct
- Vocational training grant (discretionary)
This is for people who need to update their skills to be able to return to work. It will pay for training up to the maximum of £1,500.
- Extra support grant (discretionary)
This grant serves to remove any obstacles to vocational training, such as travel expenses, accommodation, childcare or possibly any special equipment that you may need to help you back into the workplace.
- Recruitment and training support
A contribution can be made to an employer of up to £3000 for taking you on. A further contribution of up to £1000 can be made to your new employer towards the cost of any further training you may need. (This will be subject to the employers’ circumstance)
- You must live in Wales.
- You must be 16 or over.
- You need to have been made redundant within the last twelve months and still be unemployed. You cannot have worked for 6 or more consecutive weeks between your redundancy date and that of making your ReAct application.
- You are presently under formal notice of redundancy (you have been given a date)
- You are also eligible if you have become unemployed within the last 12 months. The process is the same as for redundancy. You would apply for ReAct funding within 12 months of becoming unemployed and again cannot have worked for 6 or more consecutive weeks between the date of your unemployment and applying for ReAct.
- As long as you have not received any publicly funded training (such as an apprenticeship) since leaving work (either through redundancy or unemployment) you are eligible to apply for ReAct.
Applying for ReAct funding
All applications need to be submitted through Careers Wales who will discuss your training needs with you and advise on the most suitable courses and venues. Applications are assessed individually ensuring that they meet the aims of the ReAct programme. Final approval is at the discretion of the Welsh Government.
Personal Learning Account (PLA)
The Personal Learning Account (PLA) is for Welsh residents over the age of 19 who are either employed but earning under £26,000 per annum; furloughed; or at risk of losing their current job.
The PLA is a way of accessing part-time study and courses. It allows you to study flexibly around existing commitments. Courses can be online or face-to-face and are based on skills and qualifications that local employers are looking for. The aim of the funding is to enable you to acquire new skills and qualifications so that you can advance your career or embark on a new one. All courses offered through a PLA are fully funded by the Welsh Government.
- You must live in Wales
- You must be 19 years or above
- You must be looking to gain skills and qualifications in priority sectors
You must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Be employed or self-employed but earning under £26,000 per annum
- Be a furloughed worker
- Be on a zero-hour contract
- Be agency/temporary staff
- Be at risk of being made redundant
Applying for a Personal Learning Account
Applying for a PLA is a straightforward process. You will have a digital pre-admission interview with an experienced Working Wales careers adviser. You will discuss your career goals with them and they will help you decide on the most suitable pathway. You can also contact us for any IT and Project Management related courses you are looking at completing and we will work with some of the below colleges directly to process your application.
Colleges offering courses through the Personal Learning Account
- Bridgend College
- Cardiff and Vale College
- Coleg Cambria
- Coleg Ceredigion
- Coleg Gwent
- Grŵp Llandrillo Menai
- Coleg Sir Gâr
- Coleg y Cymoedd
- Gower College Swansea
- The College Merthyr Tydfil
- Neath Port Talbot (NPTC) Group of Colleges
- Pembrokeshire College
- St David’s Catholic College
So, if you wish to better your career prospects, do not let affordability deter you. Provided that you live in Wales, there is funding available to help you on your journey. Whilst ReAct funding is geared more towards those who have already been made redundant or unemployed, the Personal Loan Account will help those who are in temporary or insecure positions and looking to gain new skills and qualifications.
So, now you know that there are opportunities for funding your future, look out for our next post which will focus on what sort of courses are available through both schemes. In the meantime, if you would like any further information on ReAct or PLA please contact us and chat to one of our learning advisers today.