Did you know that there are a range of Level 1, 2 and 3 courses you can study which are fully funded? Here we look at the benefits of completing these courses, who can access them and where to find them.
Why study for a Level 1, 2 or 3 qualifications?
There are many benefits of studying in general, including improving your skills and self-esteem. However, there are other benefits including.
What are these qualifications equal to?
Below is a table to show what qualifications are defined as Level 1, 2 and 3. It helps to understand what level each course is equal to and where you can progress too next. A full version is available on the Government website here.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|First Certificate||CSE Grade 1||A Level|
|GCSE - Grades 3, 2, 1 or D, E, F and G||GCSE - Grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 or A*, A, B and C||Access to Higher Education Diploma|
|Level 1 Award, Certificate or Diploma||Intermediate Apprenticeship||Advanced Apprenticeship|
|Level 1 ESOL||Level 2 Award, Certificate or Diploma||Applied General|
|Level 1 Essential Skills||Level 2 ESOL||AS Level|
|Level 1 Functional Skills||Level 2 Essential Skills||International Baccalaureate Diploma|
|Level 1 NVQ||Level 2 Functional Skills||Level 3 Award, Certificate or Diploma|
|Music Grades 1, 2 and 3||Level 2 National Certificate||Level 3 ESOL|
|Level 2 National Diploma||Level 3 National Certificate|
|Level 2 NVQ||Level 3 National Diploma|
|Music Grades 4 and 5||Level 3 NVQ|
|O Level - Grades A, B and C||Music Grades 6, 7 and 8|
Level 1 and 2, who can access them and where?
There are a variety of learning providers running a range of fully funded Level 1 and 2 courses that can be accessed for free by the learner. This is part of a long running government drive to upskill the population. In most cases your existing qualifications are not considered, so it does not matter if you already hold an existing qualification of a higher level or no qualifications at all. Most local colleges and many training providers offer a wide range of fully funded level 1 and 2 courses. Many of these are via distance learning, meaning that you don’t necessarily need to choose a provider that is local to your home address.
Searching for "free Level 2 courses" via Google will give a very large number of options of courses and providers, whilst there are also some larger organisations including.
Level 3, who can access them and where?
There is also a current drive to help people aged 19 and over to gain a Level 3 qualification. Once again these are fully funded courses but are only available to those who do not already hold a Level 3 qualification or higher. Below are some links to discover what courses are available and who is providing them.
|List of courses|
|List of colleges and training providers able to offer free places for Level 3 qualifications|
|Information on how to apply and eligibility criteria |
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