Apprenticeship FE loans to be scrapped, says Vince Cable

Speaking at the recent launch of the London Professional Apprenticeship, Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed that the government is scrapping the 24+ advanced learning loans system for apprenticeships.

The decision comes after data published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that only 404 people applied for adult apprenticeship loans in seven months.

He said: “The advanced learning loans system has taken off for non-apprenticeships, but for apprenticeships we accept it has not succeeded and we’re dropping it.

“Regulations have to be put through Parliament to conclude it [apprenticeship loans system], but we’ve accepted it didn’t work and there’s no shame in that, but it will continue with the non-apprenticeship learners.”

David Hughes, chief executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), said: “We have been calling this a ‘failed’ policy for some time and would like to congratulate the government for recognising this and accepting that they need to act, and to act swiftly.

“We are 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.”