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Cost of living support increases for young people in education or training

As the Education and Welsh Language Minister announces an increase in the financial hardship support for eligible FE learners, find out about the support you could be entitled to if you are starting A-levels, an apprenticeship, or in employment.

Financial Contingency Fund (FCF)

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language has announced a 6.5% increase to the Financial Contingency Fund for 2023/24 to help alleviate some of the issues faced by vulnerable learners in the cost-of-living crisis.

The FCF provides financial support for eligible learners at FE colleges. It can be used for childcare costs, transport, meals, equipment and learning materials.

Education Maintenance Allowance

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) grant is available for eligible further education students studying at sixth form or college in Wales, to help with FE costs such as transport or meals..

The weekly payment went up from £30 to £40 in April this year.


Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 in Wales. They combine practical training in a job with study.

There is an apprenticeship level to suit every individual. Visit gov.wales/apprenticeshipswales or call 0800 028 4844

Young Person’s Guarantee

Our Young Person’s Guarantee gives everyone aged 16-24 in Wales the support they need to gain a place in education or training, find a job or become self-employed.

Help with transport costs

Learners aged 16-19 may be eligible for help with their further education transport costs.

Free school meals for sixth form pupils
Free school meals are available to eligible pupils who attend school full-time. This includes school-based sixth form pupils.

You need to apply for free school meals, so it’s important to check if you might be eligible. You can do this on your local authority’s website.

Free Welsh Lessons for 18-25 year olds
18 to 25 year olds can enrol on Welsh courses with the National Centre for Learning Welsh, and will not be asked to pay when registering.

The commitment is part of the Co-Operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru.