The government’s autumn statement announced the extension of advanced learning loans for 19 to 23 year-olds studying at Levels 3 to 6. The aim in expanding FE loans was to “provide a clear route for learners to develop high-level technical and professional skills”. This puts further education students on a level playing field with higher education students in this age group as anyone aged 19 and above will not have to pay up front for their education or training at levels 3 to 6. Instead, they will be able to access funds to support career development and progression to courses such as Higher National Diplomas and Certificates (HNDs and HNCs) as well as university degrees. However, those studying for their first full Level 3 qualification will still have the course funded without a loan.
This is good news for a number of reasons. The loans were previously only available to learners aged 24+ . So from September 2016 more young adults will have the opportunity to boost their skills, qualifications and experience. Some of this learning will be life changing, providing second chances to those who have previously been left behind by traditional education routes. It is also good for the economy as these learners can use their new skills and understanding to further or change their career, or even enter employment for the first time. And, it is good for society. Learning does not only boost confidence and knowledge but also enhances personal wellbeing and the ability to contribute more fully to wider society.
The following OCN London qualifications are already eligible for the 24+ advanced learning loans for this current 2015-16 academic year.
OCN London Access to HE Diplomas
OCN London Level 3 Certificate in Bridging Skills to Higher Education (for healthcare assistants and support workers)
OCNLR Level 3 Award in Education and Training
We will shortly be submitting all of our current Level 3 Certificate and Diploma qualifications to the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) for approval to be eligible for the loans and we are developing new Level 3 and 4 qualifications to meet the needs of your learners for delivery from September 2016. Our mission has always been that everyone, no matter what their educational background, should be able take part in learning to improve their opportunities and change their life for the better.
Contact us for more information about funding for our qualifications or find out about how to become a recognised centre to deliver our qualifications here.
Find out more about Advanced Learner Loans on the National Careers Service website.