Adult learning initiative launched in Lancashire

Training 2000 has joined forces with a consortium of training providers and colleges from across Lancashire to support the launch of a government initiative to finance learning for people aged 24 or over.

The 24+ Advanced Learning Loans initiative will work in the same way as a higher education student loan and offer financial support for those who wish to study a Level 3 or Level 4 qualification, equivalent to 2-5 A levels at A*-C and a Higher National Diploma (HND) respectively.

This will allow adults, who have previously been restricted by lack of funds, the opportunity to return to studies to improve their career prospects.

Only repayable on earnings over £21,000, the loan will cover the cost of tuition and offers an interest rate lower than anything available on the high street.

Raeleen Duthoit, manager of the Lancashire Work Based Learning Executive Forum, the consortium of colleges and training providers backing the initiative, believes that the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan could provide a step-change in the way people in Lancashire view their career development by encouraging them to invest in their own learning and take control of their future.

She said: “We welcome the launch of this new initiative that will improve the capabilities of Lancashire’s workforce and hope that many people will see this as an opportunity to improve their own skills.

“People can select from a comprehensive list of qualifications and choose who they study with, so it places decision making firmly in the hands of the student.”

The initiative will support courses starting from 1 August 2013 onwards and loans are available from a minimum of £300. Applications are being accepted now and people can also apply once they have already started their course.

For further information on 24+ Advanced Learning Loans contact your local college or training provider or visit: www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advancedlearningloans. Independent financial advice is available from the Money Advice Service at: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk