Where possible we try to cover the costs of all our courses. However, we can’t always do this for all courses and all individuals. Please read below to find out if you’re eligible for a free course and what other support we can provide. Please get in touch with us if you have any queries. We will consider all cases with care and examine your needs individually.
- The government provides MI Skills Development Centre with funding towards the cost of providing education for all learners aged 19+. This means some learners will not need to pay for their learning. However, for most learners, this government funding only covers a portion of the cost of their education and learners (or employers) will need to pay the cost themselves.
- Where possible, MI Skills Development Centre also fundraises from local councils, donors and trusts and foundations to pay for courses for learners in most need of support.
- Learners aged 19 or studying higher-level courses (generally Level 3 and above) do not qualify for government funding but may be eligible for a government-backed loan through the learner's Loan Company.
- Learners under 19 do not pay any fees.
To find out which group you fall into and what further financial support may be available to you, please read the following sections carefully.
- Always free, no conditions.
- Your lunch and travel will also be covered by us.
- Free only if on benefits. You’ll need to pay half the fees if you’re working.
- If you already have a Level 3 qualification, you may need to take out a loan to do a second Level 3.
Adults over 24
You’re on benefits
- Free only up to level 3.
- At Level 3, we can offer an Advanced Learning Loan that you pay back once you earn £21,000 per year.
Learners in receipt of low wage
- You may be fully eligible for funding if you're earning less than £20,572.50 annual gross salary. However, eligibility applies.
You’re not working and not on benefits
- Ask us about our Community Projects. Last year we helped 500 people with free support on Community Projects.
Am I eligible for a free course?
Why do I need to pay full fees?
- For some courses, we need to charge the full fee because the government does not fund the type of course or the level. For example, Food Hygiene courses, Health and Safety courses and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses. For a list of government-funded courses please visit gov.uk
- If you do not have the correct residency status we may not be able to offer you funding. We are unable to provide courses if you’re on a Student Visa or Tier 4 Visa
- If you’re aged 24 or over, studying higher level courses (generally Level 3 and above) you do not qualify for government funding but may be eligible for a government-backed loan through the Students Loan Company
- You will need to pay full fees if you cannot provide evidence of immigration status e.g. residency in the EU/UK.
For example, if you are on a visitor Visa, you will NOT be eligible for funding.
- If you do not have a National Insurance number (and you are not an Asylum Seeker)
- In all cases, if you are not able to meet course fees, MI Skills has a bursary application process.
- If your course is for 6 weeks you must pay your fees in advance
- If your course lasts longer than 6 weeks you must pay for your course in two instalments
- Included in your course fee is a £30 administration fee
- All cancellation charges are payable immediately.
- MI Skills has a small pot of funding for those students in need, who aren’t eligible for fully funded and part funded courses. Some bursary funding is specifically allocated for certain groups highlighted in the Equality and Diversity policy. Some bursaries are also saved for certain groups by the bursary funder (for example, in the case of a scholarship)
- In order to access the bursary, you will need to make an application via our Financial, Debt and Welfare Advisor, who will make an assessment of the your financial capability to pay course fees
- You will also be required to have an additional meeting with a member of our Information Advice and Guidance team to establish other areas of need
- You will have to provide evidence of these needs. Examples of this evidence are payslips, family members’ financial records, doctor/specialists’ reports and any other reasonable evidence required
- The Financial Advisor and Information Advice and Guidance Advisor will make a formal recommendation to MI Skills Senior Management Team, who will make the final decision. Please note you can only make one application for a bursary per academic year.
Please note: This policy will be reviewed annually or when any new funding rules are put in place by the government.