Learning Curve Group are a national training and education specialist. Their vision is to transform lives through learning, and by working with individuals, employers, and education providers, they make lifelong development accessible to everyone.
Data shows that adult participation in learning is not distributed evenly and those least likely to access available resources are adults living in poverty with the lowest qualifications. Targeted funding and delivery of the right training provision will help people in this demographic, enabling them to enter the workforce and enjoy the associated benefits of health, wellbeing and encouraging others in their communities to participate.
As one of the largest training providers in the UK, Learning Curve Group are unrivalled in the breadth and choice of courses they offer. Each year they also help over 4,500 employers with workplace development plans and qualifications. They deliver training to 100,000 learners helping them attain nationally recognised qualifications, learn new skills, and advance their careers.
Funding for adult learning has seen significant changes over the past few years. Until 2019, the Adult Education Budget (AEB) provided funding for adult learning, but funding is now split between the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and devolved authorities.
The postcode of each learner determines who they receive funding from, so providers of adult learning courses need to know whether a course has available funding for a particular student. In some cases, addresses separated even by just one postcode district e.g., PE8 and PE9, have different sources of funding – and that’s where AFD can help!
We spoke with Steve Morris, Commercial Director at Learning Curve Group, to understand how they have navigated these changes to funding:
“In the new devolved-funding world, we now have a situation where there are multiple devolved authorities responsible for their own AEB, and the other postcodes that do not fall within those areas receive funding from ESFA. We now must understand who funds each learner based on their address and, more specifically, if funding is available to them for the course they have chosen. This will soon get even more complex when county devolution becomes a reality.
We need to avoid the scenario where learners were completing a 25-minute enrolment process then finding that their source of funding does not cover that course, resulting in wasted time and disappointment.”
“To ensure we could continue to provide our learners with the best possible experience from initial interest to enrolment, we needed a solution that would instantly identify which courses were available to each learner, based on their postcode.
After searching online, we found The Postcode People – who had the exact solution to our problem: an address lookup that provided an accurate address AND returned the relevant AEB data.
Now we had the right solution, the next job was to ensure we covered all points of data entry on the website, CRM system, and Management Information system.
Prior to introducing AFD’s solution, we had multiple tools to validate addresses and capture and attach funding data. We would run a separate process to check the address in the back office and then match this with the funding information. We now have an automated process using the learner’s valid address to tie it all together, saving valuable time and helping ensure address and funding accuracy, and helping to avoid disappointment and frustration for the potential student.
After introducing point of entry validation, attention turned to other areas of the organisation that would benefit from linking address data with the relevant funding bodies.
Rachel Cornforth, Head of Marketing, explains: “By appending the additional geodemographic classification data from AFD which adds relative affluence, lifestage, and lifestyle, we can build a better picture of an ‘ideal learner profile’ for specific courses. We can then take this data to upsell courses to existing customers with a similar profile and reach out to similar potential learners, safe in the knowledge that the correct funding is available for the courses we advertise to them.
We also contact employers to provide training courses to their teams. Our sales staff needed support in categorising businesses as they added them to our CRM system to facilitate business segmentation. Using AFD’s business data we can quickly append business sector, turnover and employee count to our data, and tailor which courses are relevant to their business. Segmented marketing will save both manual processing time and wasted opportunity costs.
Specifically targeting businesses with courses that are relevant to them and their industry, will improve sales performance and ensure the sales team can better target their efforts.”
When discussing AFD Software as data quality partners, Steve commented: “AFD not only had the right solution for our exact requirement, they also had the right team to talk us through all their relevant solutions and help improve wider data issues.
We used a third-party contractor to help us implement the AFD solutions, and the AFD team went above and beyond communicating with them and representing us to have everything put in place.
I genuinely cannot say enough good things about the service that has been delivered, the proposal was clear and all the staff we dealt with were highly knowledgeable about this area and skilled in what they do.
This project went beyond validating an address, I am confident that The Postcode People at AFD are the go-to provider of data quality solutions and would recommend them to other organisations that need accurate data and a review of data processes.”
To discuss your organisation’s data accuracy requirements and review data processes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01624 811711.