ACL Essex (Adult Community Learning) is reminding residents there is government funding available for learners keen to boost their qualifications and achieve their educational goals but are in need of some financial assistance to support their studying.

For those studying accredited courses funding can contribute towards the cost of travel, educational visits, books and equipment, as well as childcare.

Qualifying criteria applies but the following funds are available:

* The Advanced Learner Loan for learners who are aged 19 to 90 (and beyond) studying a qualification at level 3 or 4. The loan doesn’t need repaying until the individual earns more than £21,000. If you go on to university, then you don’t repay the loan at all

* The Discretionary Learning Support Fund and Community Learning Fund can assist learners struggling with finances and can be used to help with childcare, study resources and transport

*The 16-18 Discretionary Fund for learners aged 16-18 as at August 31, 2016 (lunch costs help may also be available)

*The Bursary Fund for non-accredited courses for learners who are 19+ as at August 31, 2016 (help with fees is only available if you have paid the full fee)

Essex County Councillor Ray Gooding, cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Accredited courses are those that result in a recognised qualification.

“Courses range from maths and English, beauty therapy and floristry, first aid, IT and accountancy. We believe in opportunities for all and this funding means we are able to support people back into the work place or to achieve their education goals.”

Application forms are available at all ACL centres. To find out more visit