Skills for Life

Skills for Life and Work is designed for young people aged 16 - 17, with extended age eligibility for young people with a disability up to age 22 and up to age 24 for those from an in-care background.

It provides an entry point for young people without a full Level 1 qualification or where you may not yet meet the entry criteria for a Level 2 programme of study in an area of interest i.e., an Apprenticeship or a Traineeship.

The programme guarantees training up to 104 weeks (156 weeks for those with a disability) to help you gain the recognised skills and qualifications to help you progress in your chosen career.

Skills for Life and Work will help you address personal and development needs and gain skills and vocationally related, professional and technical qualifications you need to get a job or progress to higher level of education or training i.e. an Apprenticeship or a Traineeship.

Targeted qualifications in each of the four areas outlined below will be completed:

  • Professional and technical skills
  • Personal and social development
  • Employability skills
  • Essential skills in communication, application of number and ICT

Areas of study at South West College include:

Financial Assistance

Non means tested Education Maintenance Allowance

All Skills for Life and Work participants are entitled to a weekly non-means-tested Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) of £40 per person subject to satisfying the attendance/engagement requirements of the programme i.e., 24–30 hours per week. If your parent(s)/guardian(s) receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)/Income Support, means tested Job Seeker's Allowance or Housing Benefit, that benefit will not be affected by the EMA.

If you are entitled to one of these benefits in your own right, then that benefit will not be affected either. Your parent(s)/guardian(s) will also be entitled to receive Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit provided all other conditions for receipt of the benefits are met.

In addition, you will receive participant bonuses at various stages of your training from your training contractor. Travel, lodging and childcare allowances may be paid depending on individual circumstances.

Disability Support (Subject to DfE Approval)

Disability Support Contractors (DSCs) offer additional support to people with a disability. South West College will organise this, together with the DSC, to make sure suitable arrangements are in place that will allow participants who require additional help and support to benefit fully from their training.