Closure of Sheffield Adult Learning Centres could increase benefit claims

Manor Training and Resource Centre has started a petition to make the government rethink their decision to cut their funding.

The centre, on Prince of Wales Road, provides courses to adult learners including maths, English and GCSEs.

They have helped 17,000 people gain qualifications and also have free courses available for people on child benefits.

Centre Manager Alison Bagshaw said, “If places like us close and colleges aren’t taking adults on because the money’s going into younger learners, where do people get the opportunity to get that qualification?”

“People would’ve gone through compulsory education, sat at the back of the class being ignored, and then they come to somewhere like here and if it’s cut again where is their opportunity.”

The Adult Skills Budget, which funds non University based education to over nineteens, has been cut since 2010.

Due to a new procurement process bought in by the government last year, the centre was unable to qualify for funding despite being a high priority area.

They will have to pay £150,000 to stay open until February next year when they can re-apply for funding.

Nearly 2,000 people have signed their petition so far.

Development worker Nicky Jowitt said, “There will be a knock-on effect for Jobcentre Plus because we help retrain the people furthest away from the job market.”

“We help people that need 12 months training before they can even think about looking for work so we do benefit the Jobcentre massively.”

Sign the petition here:

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