The way advanced and higher level training for people aged 24 and over is funded has changed. For courses at level 3 or level 4 including Advanced or Higher Apprenticeships, starting on or after 1 August 2013, learners may be eligible for a Government-backed loan to pay for their course fee.
There’s no credit check and household income isn’t taken into account. Learners only need to start paying back the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan when the course is finished and they are earning more than £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week and £1,750 a month). Once the learner is in employment, they pay back 9% of the money earned over £21,000, and it’s taken directly from wage packets through the tax system.
If you’re an employer, investing in employee training can have significant benefits for your organisation. Research from the London School of Economics has found that for every one percentage point increase in the proportion of a workforce receiving training, productivity per hour increased by 0.6%. In addition 90% of employers felt that training helped to increase their employees’ skills and 88% said it helped to improve staff retention.
People who successfully complete a course at level 3 or above are more likely to find a job, with an employment rate of 81.4% compared to 59.6% for those with a qualification below level 2. They are also likely to earn significantly more than those with lower skills, with the mean hourly wage of £16.32 for full-time employees qualified to level 3 or above, compared to £10.68 for those with qualifications below level 2. As well as improved employment rates and wages, people who undertake training have reported improved communications and team working as well as increased confidence levels.
If you’re an employer, The National Apprenticeship Service ‘Funding Guide for Employers’ contains information on funding for Apprenticeships. It can be found here.
If you deliver your own training, further information and support for training providers can be found here.
If you’re interested in taking a course, further information and advice on learning, career and funding options can be found here.