Concerns remain over latest adult learning loans figures despite increase

15th August 2013

Responding to today’s figures on applications for 24+ Advanced Learning Loans, which show that overall the number of applications have doubled in July, Dr Fiona Aldridge, Head of Learning for Work at NIACE, said:

“We realise that a much clearer picture on the impact of loans on patterns of adult participation in learning will emerge at the end of September. However, any increase in the number of adults taking part in learning is a step in the right direction.

“As we said in response to last month’s figures, however, there needs to be concerted action to ensure that adults are not missing out on opportunities, particularly where advanced and higher-level Apprenticeships are concerned. The number of applications for these remains extremely low. Having a skilled workforce that can compete in the global market is essential for a substantial and sustained economic recovery and people of all ages and stages of their careers need access to high-quality opportunities to improve those skills.

“We have already had a number of useful conversations with organisations from across the sector and we are keen to hear from others, especially providers, about how the introduction of loans is impacting on provision and participation. You can contact me at [email protected].”