2 February 2016

Learning and Work Institute has launched new materials to help boost participation of advanced and higher level learning.

Since 2013, adults aged 24 and over have been able to access university-style student loans to cover tuition costs for advanced and higher level courses. Learning and Work Institute was asked by the Skills Funding Agency to explore learners’ and providers’ experience of loans in order to share practice that can encourage more people to engage in learning.

The report, Supporting Learners Through the Advanced Learner Loans Process, uses evidence from extensive interviews with learners, employers and providers across the further education and skills sector and explores the kinds of information learners need throughout the loans application process, how partners can help and how to support learners make informed decisions.

Dr Fiona Aldridge, Assistant Director Research and Development at Learning and Work Institute said:

“It is vital that we see more adults in learning at all levels. Just this week, results from the latest UKCES Employer Skills Survey made very clear that skills shortages are growing in our labour market. Also this week, the latest application figures for 24+ Loans show that growth in loan funded learning continues to be slow.

“We hope this resource will help colleges and training providers plan to increase the number of learning opportunities they can offer to adults and help to plan for extension of Advanced Learner Loans to learners from the age of 19 later this year.

“Learning and Work is grateful for the time and expertise of the learners, providers and employers that took part in this work.”

Learning and Work Institute is a new independent research and development organisation promoting lifelong learning, full employment and inclusion. The institute is the result of a merger of NIACE and the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion which was concluded earlier this month.

You can read the full report here: Supporting learners through the Advanced Learner loans process report