The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (@AELPUK) hailed the government’s plans for the introduction of lifelong learning accounts by 2025 as a step towards greater empowerment of learners and employers.
Plans to introduce “lifelong learning accounts” from 2025 as part of the lifelong loan entitlement for grades 4 to 6 were announced in a speech by the Minister of State in HE & FE Michelle Donelan at the Times Higher Education Campus Live event on 24.e November. Students will be able to access an apprenticeship loan worth four years of study after age 18 which can be used in higher and further education as they see fit.
The AELP believes that individual skills accounts are the right mechanism to put learners and employers at the heart of the system, facilitating greater choice and ownership of lifelong learning, with the possibility for different parties to contribute to the investment in the required skills. These skills accounts should include funding so that level 2 and 3 qualifications are also accessible, in order to promote social mobility and tackle skills shortages. However, lifelong learning accounts are a step towards this goal.
Jane Hickie, CEO of AELP, said:
“The government’s announcement to introduce lifelong learning accounts from 2025 is a great victory for learners and for employers. The AELP has always called for a bolder and more ambitious reform of adult education.
“Lifelong learning accounts offer the opportunity to move away from the current institution-led approach to a system that allows learners and employers to make the choices that meet their needs. A demand-driven system provides better value and ensures that funding goes directly to the front line – the learner. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, we would also be happy for the government to extend this to level 2 and 3 learners. ”