Latest figures confirm why Government is right to scrap Apprenticeship loans

19 December 2013

The Government’s move to scrap 24+ Advanced Learning Loans for Apprenticeships has proved to be right claims David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, as today’s figures continue to show another extremely disappointing total number of people taking out loans for Advanced and Higher-Level Apprenticeships – just 569 against a target for the academic year of 25,000.

David Hughes said:

“Today’s figures confirm our belief that loans for Apprenticeships is a ‘failed’ policy. Thankfully it is now going to be scrapped, as announced by the Secretary of State earlier this week. We would like to congratulate the Government for recognising this and accepting that they need to act, and to act swiftly. We are, of course, anxious to see the detail of the new proposals;  whatever is proposed, we are sure that the Government, employers, learning providers and learners and their representatives will need to work together to understand the full implications of this policy and how best to take it forward. Apprenticeships for adults are essential for a successful economy as well as for allowing better social mobility in our society.

“We are particularly keen on putting forward the learner-perspective as part of the new policy. This is particularly important in an employer-led system.  I would like to see an Apprentices’ Charter which will provide Apprentices with an understanding of what they should expect from their Apprenticeship. This would help enshrine the commitment that Apprentices will always be supported to learn for their career, not just for the job they are in today. 

“The cessation of Advanced Learning Loans for Apprenticeships heightens our concerns about where future savings may come from.  We are worried that the public funding cuts required over the next three to four years may result in loans being the only funding mechanism for adults at intermediate as well as lower levels of learning. We hope that any consideration of introducing loans for other age groups and other levels of learning in the future will now be postponed.”