LLE gives people a flexible life of learning
From 2025, the LLE will allow people up to the age of 60 to access loans worth the equivalent of 4 years of post-18 education – £37,000 in today’s tuition fees – in a way that suits them.
It means people can choose. They can still go the full time route and use the loan in one go. Or they can take it in smaller chunks across their lifetime. It’s like a flexi-travel card – allowing people to jump on and off their learning journey as and when they want to.
From a practical point of view, people will be able to access and manage their loan in their own personal account. They’ll be able to see what they’ve studied, how much of the loan they’ve got left, plus information on the courses and modules they can still spend it on.
People get more choice and opportunity
The flexibility that underpins the loan allows people to have more control over where their career takes them. Having one university course to your name can restrict the number of career doors available to you. But LLE can help unlock new ones.
If people want to find a new passion or upskill to move up through their organisation, they’ve got that lifelong loan and choice of courses to back them up.
LLE is something that could be hugely beneficial in the age of generative AI. It’s not unrealistic to say some jobs as we know them could soon be obsolete, so LLE lets people move with the times and shift their skillset elsewhere.
Businesses can plug vital skills gaps
As industries develop, LLE will allow people to retrain for new roles and businesses should have a wider pool of skilled workers to choose from.
Jamie Cater, Senior Employment Policy Manager at Make UK, talks about how LLE can answer to the changing skills demand in the manufacturing sector: “As UK manufacturing becomes more technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable, higher-level technical skills are increasingly in demand by employers.
“The introduction of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement is an important step forward in enabling this to happen”.
So many industries will be going through similar transformations, and LLE can help make sure they’ve got the talent to innovate, grow and flourish.
Unis can appeal to a more diverse talent pool
There’s a lot to be gained for universities from a commercial perspective – they’ll be able to open up higher education to more demographics. Some people simply can’t afford the time and money it takes to study in the current system, but LLE will let people better manage their training and courses around the cost of living.
The government is also going to make more maintenance loans available for students studying technical and part-time courses, making the sector more inclusive and open to people of all backgrounds.
And this isn’t just for people who haven’t moved into higher education yet. People who have already studied can access these privileges too. With the new system, they’ll be able to re-access finance and study at an equivalent or even a lower level than they trained at before – something past students aren’t able to do in the current system.
For example, the new rules will allow a student who took out a loan for a history degree to then study and access finance for a higher technical qualification in software development.
Everyone comes out a winner
LLE really is a win, win, win. For people that can now train, retrain and upskill throughout their working life. For the sector that can open up more opportunities and appeal to more demographics. And for industries, that will benefit from a talent pool that’s better equipped to help them take on the future. What a gamechanger.
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