Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is a Personal Learning Account (PLA)?

A Personal Learning Account (PLA) will allow you to study part-time around your existing responsibilities.  It will enable you to obtain the skills and qualifications you need to switch careers and embark on a new path.

You’ll be able to get new skills and qualifications that local employers need to help you progress your current career or change it altogether. All of the courses on offer through a Personal Learning Account are being funded by the Welsh Government.


Who is eligible?

You must be: 

  • Employed and earning under £26,000 per year or a furloughed worker (any salary) or self-employed 
  • Over the age of 19 years old 
  • Able to travel to the college venues 
  • Living in Wales


What makes you ineligible

Individuals are ineligible (at the point of application) if they are:

  • Under the age of 19; or
  • attending school or college full-time as a pupil or student; or
  • in full-time higher education or
  • in Welsh Government funded Work Based Learning
  • an ineligible overseas national; or
  • in receipt of an Assembly Learning Grant or Education Maintenance Allowance; or
  • unemployed


How can the programme be accessed? 

The application process is straightforward and simply involves a pre-admissions meeting/phone call with a member of the Personal Learning Account team at Coleg Cambria. 

In this meeting/phone call, you will get the chance to discuss career aspirations and goals and ensure that the course you are applying for is the right pathway for you


Do I need any specific skills or qualifications? 

As the programme is aimed at individuals that would like to change their career then no prior knowledge is needed of the sector. Some of the courses can be accessed with no specific skills or qualifications. 

However, you can discuss the course requirements when you have your meeting/phone call with a member of the Personal Learning Accounts team from Coleg Cambria.


How do I know when the course will run? 

The college will do their best to meet the needs of everyone when planning the dates and times to run the courses. 

We are flexible and will aim to deliver the learning around people’s family and work commitments. Your availability will be discussed during your pre-admission assessment. In addition, a number of online courses are being delivered by the college.


How is the course being funded? 

Welsh Government is funding 100% of the course costs.


How much will it cost me? 

The course will be 100% funded by the Welsh Government. 

However, you will need to pay for your travel and ensure you have sufficient time to be able to commit to attending and completing the course.


Can I access more than one course? 

Prior to starting the course you will be offered to develop a training plan which will set out the courses/ qualifications you can undertake to help you progress your career in, whichever sector you choose. You can access more than one course, but must finish one course before starting another.


What happens if I drop out of the course, would I be able to apply again? 

We understand personal circumstances change. You could apply to undertake a new course, if you still met the eligibility criteria for the programme. However, if you dropped out of your second course you would not be entitled to future funding through the Personal Learning Account.


Why have these courses been chosen? 

Skill shortages within the digital, construction and engineering, health and financial sectors are creating recruitment issues among employers. These courses have been chosen following extensive engagement with employers, stakeholders, representative groups and potential participants to ensure they address the skill shortages within these sectors.


What type of account is it? Do I get money directly? 

You wouldn’t receive the money directly; you just need to enrol on the course. The college will be paid directly by the Welsh Government.


Will Personal Learner Account funding support childcare, travel and so on?

Childcare, travel or any other additional costs will NOT be funded.


What happens if I am made redundant when I am undertaking the PLA course?

If you are made redundant during your PLA course then we can work with you to ensure that you maximise funding available to you should you wish to re-train.


Do I need to prove my eligibility? 

Yes, you will be asked to show your photo ID and proof of earnings before completing a simple self-declaration form.


Can my employer apply on my behalf? 

Personal Learning Accounts can be accessed by your employer but eligibility criteria does apply and can be discussed on application.


When do I study for my qualification?

The College is flexible and will aim to deliver the learning around people’s family and work commitments. Your availability will be discussed during your pre-admission assessment. You will need to arrange your own time to study your qualification. You could learn in a classroom environment or online class on a certain day of the week. As a result of the impact of Covid-19, the courses will be delivered in line with the government’s regulations.


How can I give feedback? 

We would be very interested to hear your personal story about how a Personal Learning Account has helped you to change career and realise your career aspirations. These questions will be part of your learning plan.


Are these open to the self-employed

Yes these are open to the self-employed, employed and anyone who has been furloughed, providing that you meet all other eligibility criteria.


Are you eligible if you already have a degree? 

Yes you are, if you already hold a degree qualification.


Am I still eligible if I am furloughed when I apply but the course doesn’t start till September and my circumstances have changed? 

Yes, your eligibility is tested at the point of application, if you are informed you successfully meet the eligibility requirements and are offered a place on that course, then your subsequent employment position as at the start date of the course is not applicable. 

However, if you apply for another PLA course, then your eligibility is tested again at that point of application.


Contact Us

For more information or to apply for any of the courses being run by Coleg Cambria: