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  • FIRST POST
    • lee989
    • By lee989 20th Apr 17, 3:55 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 0Thanks
    lee989
    Adult Learning Grants - Anything available?
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 17, 3:55 PM
    Adult Learning Grants - Anything available? 20th Apr 17 at 3:55 PM
    Hi Everyone

    My sister has just completed a Level 2 Animal Care course at college, this was funded partly by the college itself, and partly by another grant (I'm not sure which particular one it was).

    She has expressed an interest in moving on to a Level 3 course to further develop her skills however she's not in a financial position to be able to afford to pay for the course herself.

    All the funding for the Level 2 course was acquired by an advice centre she was enrolled with, however this time around they have said no grants are available and cannot help her... So i'm doing my best to see if there is anything they have overlooked, but I can't say I have an in-depth knowledge of the area.

    The pertinent details about her and her situation are as follows:
    • Age when starting the level 3 course: 25
    • Course length: 2 years
    • Course title: BTEC Level 3 Animal Care
    • Course fee: £2,500 (as far as we know)
    • Housing status: Living with parents
    • Parents combined annual income: £23,000
    • Employment status: unemployed
    • Previous employment status: mostly unemployed on JSA
    • Location: West Midlands

    Would anyone happen to know of any grants that are available which would either partly or fully cover the course fee's?

    I've been told the college themselves have funds to help support low income families (assuming this is what she accessed last year for part of the level 2 payment), however i'm not sure how we get more information on this or how to apply for it. Even if we can only get part of the course fee's paid, it may be enough that between the rest of the family we can put together to help cover the remaining amount.

    Any assistance on this would be gratefully received.
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 20th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    • 4,579 Posts
    • 9,207 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    Hi Everyone

    My sister has just completed a Level 2 Animal Care course at college, this was funded partly by the college itself, and partly by another grant (I'm not sure which particular one it was).

    She has expressed an interest in moving on to a Level 3 course to further develop her skills however she's not in a financial position to be able to afford to pay for the course herself.

    All the funding for the Level 2 course was acquired by an advice centre she was enrolled with, however this time around they have said no grants are available and cannot help her... So i'm doing my best to see if there is anything they have overlooked, but I can't say I have an in-depth knowledge of the area.

    The pertinent details about her and her situation are as follows:
    • Age when starting the level 3 course: 25
    • Course length: 2 years
    • Course title: BTEC Level 3 Animal Care
    • Course fee: £2,500 (as far as we know)
    • Housing status: Living with parents
    • Parents combined annual income: £23,000
    • Employment status: unemployed
    • Previous employment status: mostly unemployed on JSA
    • Location: West Midlands

    Would anyone happen to know of any grants that are available which would either partly or fully cover the course fee's?

    I've been told the college themselves have funds to help support low income families (assuming this is what she accessed last year for part of the level 2 payment), however i'm not sure how we get more information on this or how to apply for it. Even if we can only get part of the course fee's paid, it may be enough that between the rest of the family we can put together to help cover the remaining amount.

    Any assistance on this would be gratefully received.
    Originally posted by lee989
    Even with a full time course, can she not get a weekend job to help her through?
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 20th Apr 17, 5:41 PM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:41 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:41 PM
    There are an awful lot of people out there with Animal Care qualifications and no job, even at degree level. I have worked with companies who work with animals, and for the most part they want experience. I think that sort of money would take an awful long time to pay for itself - if ever! My advice would be for her to get a job, with animals if she can, but it is notoriously badly paid, and often seasonal.
    • ceb1995
    • By ceb1995 20th Apr 17, 5:51 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    ceb1995
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:51 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Apr 17, 5:51 PM
    Hi Everyone

    My sister has just completed a Level 2 Animal Care course at college, this was funded partly by the college itself, and partly by another grant (I'm not sure which particular one it was).

    She has expressed an interest in moving on to a Level 3 course to further develop her skills however she's not in a financial position to be able to afford to pay for the course herself.

    All the funding for the Level 2 course was acquired by an advice centre she was enrolled with, however this time around they have said no grants are available and cannot help her... So i'm doing my best to see if there is anything they have overlooked, but I can't say I have an in-depth knowledge of the area.

    The pertinent details about her and her situation are as follows:
    • Age when starting the level 3 course: 25
    • Course length: 2 years
    • Course title: BTEC Level 3 Animal Care
    • Course fee: £2,500 (as far as we know)
    • Housing status: Living with parents
    • Parents combined annual income: £23,000
    • Employment status: unemployed
    • Previous employment status: mostly unemployed on JSA
    • Location: West Midlands

    Would anyone happen to know of any grants that are available which would either partly or fully cover the course fee's?

    I've been told the college themselves have funds to help support low income families (assuming this is what she accessed last year for part of the level 2 payment), however i'm not sure how we get more information on this or how to apply for it. Even if we can only get part of the course fee's paid, it may be enough that between the rest of the family we can put together to help cover the remaining amount.

    Any assistance on this would be gratefully received.
    Originally posted by lee989
    Has she ever studied at level 3 before?
    If not she might be eligible for an advanced learner loan
    https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan/how-to-apply
    Earnings 2017:
    Swagbucks £49
    Cashback: £113.04
    • lee989
    • By lee989 21st Apr 17, 9:48 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    lee989
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:48 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:48 AM
    @marliepanda: Easier said than done. Lots of people out of work and lots of students looking for evening/weekend jobs too. Sure that would be a good solution, but realistically it's probably not going to work out, especially given she's spent several years looking for a job prior to going back to college. It's an option we're open too, but it doesn't really solve the problem as you can't pay for the course in tiny instalments anyway. It's 2 large payments of £1,000+ each (August & December i think). There is the option of taking a loan and paying that off incrementally (which would have to be my parents securing it against the house i imagine, as she has no credit history), however we're looking at ways to reduce the fee's at the moment, we've got the option of a loan as a fallback

    @Caroline_a - I guess my one question is what Animal Care course they did. At Level 2 i would agree with you, it's probably a saturated market and we already knew going into it that minimum wage was the expected salary of any job she would qualify for after Level 2, since it's such a basic course (it basically qualifies her to brush a dog and clip a rabbits nails kind of thing). This is why we are pushing her for Level 3, which would put her on the RCVS register and open up far more opportunities (we hope - the only thing we have to go on is an abundance of job adverts for vet nurses in the area, admittedly there re far less "dog groomer" style jobs listed which is what she is currently qualified to do).

    We did discuss going straight into work (and all options are open at this stage - this is more an info gathering exercise so we can weigh up each option having the correct information). In fact she was given some volunteer forms, which as you say the job market is saturated and you need experience, so volunteering would help gain that experience to hopefully get a job later on. This is most likely the route she will go if we don't go down the L3 route.

    I'd be interested in hearing if your experience of the over-saturated animal care job market is based on Level 2 (Dog groomer style jobs) or Level 3 (specifically the vet nurse specialism of L3).

    @ceb1995 Thanks for that info. As i mentioned earlier this is more an info gathering exercise at the moment, and we have of course considered a loan as a fallback if we have to pay the full fee's and can't pay for it outright between ourselves. Thank you for the link though, it is her first level 3 and we weren't aware of the advanced learners loan - that seems like a much better way rather than a bank loan (since she doesn't have to repay until she gets a job), so if we have to get a loan, this seems like a good choice.

    Thank you to everyone that has replied. As i mentioned in my replies above, i'm primarily looking for grants and funding that would reduce the fee amount more so than ways of covering the fee's. It's an information gathering exercise at this stage and we already have looked into the options of how to cover the fee and they are of course all on the table as potential routes.
    • beluga
    • By beluga 21st Apr 17, 6:31 PM
    • 322 Posts
    • 5,030 Thanks
    beluga
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:31 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:31 PM
    I'd definitely recommend her getting a job part time to help with costs, and considering at least doing some voluntary work in the field as otherwise she'll struggle to find work once she's qualified. The qualification alone will not get her a job. I appears that a lot of the non-degree courses assume you already work in that area so check whether she will need a placement and if she can find one suitable.
    I've managed to work part time while studying for an MSc and have managed to pay my fees without a loan, which were considerable more than £2k. Good luck
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 21st Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • 960 Posts
    • 2,108 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    A level 3 qualification in animal care is not recognised by the RCVS for registration as a vetinary nurse, for that you would need to take an RCVS accredited course in vetinary nursing.

    Irrespective of the course, a 25 year old with zero work experience is not going to get a job when competing against graduate nurses with experience. Why can't she get a full time job and then look at studying part time?
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 21st Apr 17, 7:09 PM
    • 3,855 Posts
    • 10,634 Thanks
    Caroline_a
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 17, 7:09 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Apr 17, 7:09 PM
    My experience covers the whole range, including middle aged people with no formal qualifications, to young people who have completed degree and Masters qualifications. Sadly I found that the more qualifications that people had in Animal Care (veterinary nursing is a different path as has been pointed out), then the less likelyhood they had to get a job in the industry. The middle aged people with no qualifications were the ones who were most successful, as they tended to stay much longer in the jobs!!

    Most of the jobs are entry level where there are, as you say, an over-saturation of the market. I saw this in boarding kennels, breeding kennels, rescue centres etc - groomers again are a different path, and most that I met tended to go for the L3 C& G qualification. I certainly wouldn't let a L2 person loose on my dogs!

    What type of Animal Care does your sister want to do? It's a massive field, and if it's veterinary nursing she's interested in, then she needs to ensure that she's taking the correct path, rather than hoping it will lead the right way. Is she interested in behaviour and dog training? The thing is that to make any money in this field you have to be working for yourself in an established business which takes a long time to build up to. Entry level jobs tend to be much more 'shovelling sh*t' rather than brushing dogs or clipping nails, although sadly most people entering on this career path have no idea how much shovelling they have to do - as a result a massive proportion leave within a few months.

    I would also say that L3 is mainly for supervisors and managers - and I don't think any newly qualified youngster would be offered a supervisory role on the strength of it. If it was my sister/child, I would be advising against this every step of the way!
    Last edited by Caroline_a; 22-04-2017 at 11:07 AM.
    • dawyldthing
    • By dawyldthing 23rd Apr 17, 10:57 PM
    • 2,448 Posts
    • 1,482 Thanks
    dawyldthing
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 17, 10:57 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 17, 10:57 PM
    The problem is by 25 a lot of the funding doors are closed. You can get funding of things upto 18 as they don't like young people being neet (not in employment, education or training) but after that it's pretty much self funding.

    If it's what she wants to do might be worth doing some temping for a year and save it up before starting the course, volunteer at the dogs trust etc to get a foot in the door and a reference and see how it goes
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