ILA Scotland

What is ILA Scotland?

ILA Scotland is a simple way to get up to £200 a year towards the cost of learning something new.  It's a Scottish Government scheme for people with an income of £22,000 a year or less or who are on benefits.  The money is not a loan - so you don't have to pay any of it back.  If you are 16 or over, you could be eligible for help with funding for any of the Food Hygiene, First Aid, Ulpan Gaelic or Harris Tweed accredited courses running in the Western Isles.

How to Apply

The easiest way to request your ILA Scotland application pack is by visiting the ILA Website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and following the instructions.

How to use your ILA Scotland Account

Once you’ve opened a learning account, using your ILA Scotland funds to pay for your choice of learning is easy.  Here are the simple steps you should follow:

  1. Check that the course you want to take is eligible for ILA Scotland funding.  Remember that you can’t use your ILA Scotland funds to pay for learning which is not listed on the ILA Scotland database so it’s best to call the ILA Scotland helpline free on 0808 100 1090 to check before you book the course. You can also Search Our Database of Registered Courses. (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
  2. Enrol for the course and tell us that you want to use your ILA Scotland funds to help pay for it.  You can do this by emailing communitylearninghebrides@cne-siar.gov.uk or phoning the Hotline on (01851) 822716.  You will need to provide us with your account number when you contact us.
  3. We will then enter details of your chosen course on the ILA Scotland system.  This will reserve the appropriate amount of money in your account but it will not actually be paid out until after you start the course.
  4. ILA Scotland will then send you confirmation of the course details and a statement showing how much of your account will be used to pay for it.  You will also receive a learning token which you should keep safely until your course starts.
  5. Pay the learning provider any balance that you owe if your ILA Scotland funding does not cover the full cost of your course.
  6. Bring your token along to the first class and hand it to the tutor.  The learning token is your confirmation that you have started your course and are happy for ILA Scotland to pay for your attendance of the course. 
  7. We will then put the details of your learning token on the ILA Scotland system and the money reserved in your account will be paid to us.

This is the process you will go through each time you use funds from your account.

Remember that you must have opened your account and received your ILA Scotland account number before you book a course.