Britannia Apprenticeships

How can 24+ Advanced Learning Loans benefit businesses?

How can 24+ Advanced Learning Loans benefit businesses?

24+ Advanced Learning Loans can help bolster companies’ training budgets by encouraging staff to invest in their own futures, meaning businesses benefit from an up-skilled, more productive workforce without spending any money.

The benefits of staff training are well-documented, with research from the London School of Economics highlighting that for every one percentage point increase in the proportion of a workforce receiving training, productivity per hour increased by 0.6%. However, at the moment, not all companies have the budgets to provide staff with extensive training, meaning they may miss out on the benefits up-skilled workers can bring.

With the introduction of 24+ Advanced Learning Loans companies can offer help and the promise of career progression in place of financial backing. If employers are willing to offer support while their staff study and provide opportunities for their new skills to be fully utilised in the workplace, there is a good chance that employees’ motivation, engagement and loyalty will all be boosted. Businesses can then reap the benefits of retaining a workforce with advanced vocational skills.

If employers want to make a contribution to their employees’ training and development costs but don’t have the budget to foot the full bill, there is also the option for employers to help pay off part of the loan by making voluntary payments to the Student Finance England at any point during the repayment term.

This can be used to enhance employee retention, as employers can offer to make financial contributions if workers stay with the company for a set period, for example, offering to repay 50% of the loan if employees remain for two years after completing their qualification.

The loans will also make it more realistic for firms to offer Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships to older workers. Under the previous grants system, employers were faced with covering the full cost of these qualifications for most staff over the age of 24, but now, the loans enable employers to make a contribution to their training costs with the option to pay 50% of the fees.

There is also now the opportunity to provide further support and training to staff who already have a degree, who were previously ineligible for any government funding towards Apprenticeships.

Next steps

With employers standing to gain so much from having a highly-trained workforce, it is vital that they play a part in maximising take-up of 24+ Advance Learning Loans.

Companies will be pivotal over the next few months in educating their workers about 24+ loans, how they work and the benefits they can bring, to both employees and employers.

With figures showing that people with a Level 3 qualification are less likely to be unemployed and are also likely to earn significantly more than those with lower skills, there are plenty of incentives for employees to embark on further training.

ncfe edexcell SFJ Skills Funding Agency C Skills