Mayor Steve Rotheram extends pilot scheme to train further education tutors across Liverpool City Region after successful first year

  • Devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) used to combat tutor shortages

  • 34 tutors trained with some already working at FE colleges

  • Course rolled out for second year as part of £290,000 programme

A pioneering scheme to train further education (FE) tutors across the Liverpool City Region is to be extended after 34 students successfully completed the first year.

The £290,000 Pathways to Teaching initiative was launched last year as part of Mayor Steve Rotheram’s devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) to help fill local skills gaps.

The innovative programme was designed alongside local authorities to attract residents of the city region to a career in teaching in response to a local shortage of FE tutors.

The six-month course serves as a stepping stone into the adult learning sector – providing the skills to become a tutor and enabling funded progression to advanced teacher training courses.

After a successful first year which saw 34 people complete the course – with many already working in teaching jobs and studying for advanced qualifications – the programme is being rolled out for a second year.

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder for Employment, Education and Skills. said:

“Because we have control over how adult education funding is spent locally, we’re able to pilot new and innovative ways of supporting people. This pilot is a perfect example of that, giving local residents the opportunity to consider a career in the FE sector and develop their teaching skills.”

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The Adult Education Budget was devolved to the Liverpool city Region Combined Authority over four years ago and is currently around £53million annually. It has enabled innovative new ways of teaching and learning.

Pathways to Teaching was developed to address a shortage of tutors to deliver English, maths, English for speakers of other languages and digital courses.

The programme includes preparatory qualifications from at level 3 (equivalent to A-level) with the opportunity to progress to level 5 (HND/second year of degree), including Certificate in Post 16 Education (Cert Ed) and the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA).

It has proved to be cost effective and will now be extended for a second year within the original £290,000 budget. Enrolment is now open for year 2.

At an awards ceremony in November 2023 at the Mansion House in Calderstones Park, the first 34 successful learners were presented with certificates.

Man sitting on sofa

Jason Bowen

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Kelly Arrowsmith, Quality & Learner Experience Manager at Halton Borough Council, which managed and co-ordinated the project across the LCR, said:

“Pathways to Teaching was designed to address the gap that we’re currently experiencing in the adult learning sector. It has been really hard to recruit adult learning tutors over the last couple of years, so the Combined Authority identified that there was something that we could do to promote the teaching career to our residents, and to provide them with an achievable, accessible way to embark on their teaching journey.

“The AEB funding allows us to develop an innovative and responsive curriculum and this year Pathways to Teaching has been really successful. We’ve had 34 complete across the LCR local authorities demonstrating real collaboration which is fantastic.

“We’re really excited it has been extended for another year and we’re just starting to enrol again. I think it’s a testament to the dedication that the Combined Authority has to continue to invest in its own residents and to promote their career aspirations.”

Awards ceremony with dinners at a table

Students at the Mansion House in Calderstones

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Sharon Hunter from Knowsley, said:

“The course was amazing – I’ve got employment through Knowsley Family aAnd Community Education (FACE), who facilitated the course, and I’m now actually a tutor teaching floristry.”

Jason Bowen, from Wirral, said:

“I started the Pathways to Teaching course in September and through that I applied for a job at Coleg Cambria and got a job as a lecturer in Industry Electrical. They are going to put me through even more qualifications now so I’m going to be doing my assessor’s course this year and start CertEd next year, so onwards and upwards in the education – I’m loving it.”

Mollie Harrison, from Knowsley, said:

“In a matter of a month I passed and went onto St Helens College where I now teach Animal Management two days a week and then do my PGCE the rest of the time. It has been very rewarding – I do love it so much and I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to do teaching as is definitely a brilliant stepping stone.”

For information on the couse contact:

Adult Learning (

[email protected]

Tel: 0151 511 7788

Adult learning | Knowsley Council

[email protected]

Tel: 0151 443 4503

Adult learning – Liverpool City Council

[email protected]

Tel: 0151 233 1600

Adult Learning – Sefton Council

[email protected]

Tel: 0151 934 4546

Adult learning – St Helens Borough Council

[email protected]

Tel: 01744 676673

Adult learning in Wirral |

[email protected]

Tel: 0151 551 7777

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