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Outside England

Learning outside England

If you are already a ULR, or considering becoming one, in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, you will find that funding and learning initiatives are different to those in England.

mapAs with any funding, eligibility criteria changes on a regular basis therefore it is always best to check with the appropriate government and skills bodies, details of which can be found below.


The Scottish Parliament is responsible for the Scottish education system, consequently it differs from the system in the rest of the UK. The system for funding Basic Skills/Essential Skills also differs in Scotland.

The Scottish Government set up individual Learner accounts in 2004

  • widen participation in adult learning
  • introduce new learners to adult learning
  • provide an opportunity for those who have not recently participated in learning to do so
  • encourage individuals to invest in and take ownership of their own learning
  • prioritise the learning needs of certain groups of learners (in particular those in low incomes)
  • support the development of a quality learning provider base in Scotland across both public and private sectors.

For details of eligibility criteria or more information about ILA Scotland learner accounts and courses, or to apply for a learner account, visit or call the ILA Scotland helpline free on 0808 100 1090.

If you would like more information about Scottish union learning please contact at Prospect's Edinburgh office, or download our Scottish learning and skills operating protocol.

The TUC also has a Regional Education Office in Scotland, which provides a programme of courses for ULRs, safety representatives, pension scheme trustees, and other trade union representatives. For up to date information, advice and guidance visit


The Welsh Assembly Government provides the leadership, policies and guidance for key stakeholders involved in education, lifelong learning and skills.

The financial support available will depend on the learner's situation, including personal income and family circumstances, age, study requirements and whether the learning will be full or part-time.

Funding can be obtained in the form of a direct cash grant, a loan, a free pass or reduced fee levels. Support can come from the Welsh Assembly Government, the local council or directly from the learning provider.

For more detailed information and advice visit

The TUC also has a Regional Education Office in Wales, which provides union-led advice and guidance for reps and members. The Wales TUC Learning Services Team also provide expertise and assist unions in Wales to access the Welsh Assembly Government funded Wales Union Learning Fund. If you would like to find out more about Wales TUC Learning Services, visit

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the Department for Employment and Learning is responsible for 3rd level education and training. Further information on the learning and skills structure and current initiatives can be sourced from

Southern Ireland

The Houses of the Oireachtas (National Parliament) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate). For more information visit

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man Department of Education is constituted under the Government Departments Act 1987. Education in the Isle of Man is entirely funded by the Isle of Man Government, for more information visit . For information on Prospect support and learning and skills information contact

Channel Islands

For information on Prospect support and learning and skills information contact Simon Wood at our Guernsey office -