Advanced Learning Loans are “not working.”30 April 2015
The latest 24+ loan application figures show that there were 2830 applications last month, only 400 more than during March 2014. Figures also highlight that loan applications actually fell in 2014/15, compared with 2013/14.
Commenting on the figures, Dr Fiona Aldridge, Assistant Director of Development and Research at NIACE, said:
“You’d think that as the loans system becomes more embedded, we’d see the numbers of learners accessing them increase. Unfortunately this doesn’t appear to be the case and is instead a sad reflection of the current state of affairs in adult education – declining participation at a time of growing demand for skills.
“Clearly, 24+ Advanced Learning Loans are not working. We will be working with the next Government to improve the policy and, in the mean time, work with providers and partners to improve the information and resources available to learners on the benefits that learning delivers.
“We have set out some simple steps in Ten Policies for Ten People which can be taken to stimulate demand from adults who will benefit from new skills and we’re keen to trial them with employers and Local Enterprise Partnerships. We cannot simply allow this technical and professional level learning continue to decline.”
As part of the Ten Policies for Ten People document – highlighting priority actions for the next Government’s first 100 days – NIACE is calling for the money set aside for funding 24+ Advanced Learning Loans to be invested in Personal Careers Accounts.