Adult learning loan slow on the uptake


Would-be adult learners are failing to take advantage of adult learner loans to begin an apprenticeship, according to new figures.

24+ Advanced Learning Loans are available to anyone over that age looking to start an apprenticeship or other course on or after August 1st 2013. In total, 8679 applications have been made by those 24 and over who are looking to study at level three or four, however not one person has applied for a loan to fund an apprenticeship.

The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) says that the number of those that have applied for a loan only amount to two per cent of all of those studying at this level in 2010/11.

With £129 million earmarked for funding of this scheme, the chief executive of the NIACE, David Hughes, has raised concerns over whether or not the full amount will be utilised.

Hughes said: “From the start we have been particularly concerned about whether loans will work for the apprenticeship programme.

“The fact there has not been a single loan application from apprentices is extremely worrying, especially if this leads to older adults not being able to access higher-level or advanced apprenticeships. The government’s own figures assume that loans for apprenticeships by 2014/15 will be a third of the overall take-up. This data suggests that the government needs to take specific action to ensure the implementation of loans is a success.”

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