19+* Advanced Learning Loans are designed to help an individual who otherwise would not be able to pay the tuition fees associated with a training programme.
The loans are available for individuals aged 19 or over to undertake approved qualifications at Levels 3, 4 and 5 in England. This gives individuals access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are administered by Student Finance England.
19+ Advanced Learning Loans are paid directly to us on behalf of an individual. The loans are not means tested or subject to credit checks. Any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan regardless of their current employment status. Repayments are easy too, they are collected through PAYE or a self-assessment once an individual’s income is more £21,000 each year. Voluntary repayments may also be made in addition directly to Student Finance England.
By encouraging your staff to invest in their own future your business can benefit from an up-skilled, more productive workforce without spending any money. As many companies have tight training budgets, in particular for extensive training programmes, businesses need not miss out on the benefits up-skilled employees can bring.
If employers want to contribute financially, but do not have the budget to cover the whole cost they can make contributions to the training costs. This will help pay off part of the loan and can be done by making voluntary payments directly to the Student Finance England. This can be used as a method of employee retention, as you can offer to make financial contributions if workers stay with the company for a set period. For example, repaying 25% of the loan each year the employee stays after completing their qualification.
As an alternative to financial support companies can offer help with the promise of career progression. For example, this can be done by offering opportunities for employees’ new skills to be fully utilised in the workplace. Then there is a good chance that employees’ motivation, engagement and loyalty will improve.
It is important that your employees consider their own circumstances and look into all options regarding payment for their course. They can get impartial financial advice from the Money Advice Service.