SFR reveals FE loans not used for apprenticeships

According to the Statistical First Release (SFR) published last Thursday, only 100 of the 25,200 FE loans taken out between August and October last year were for apprenticeships.

It also found that 2,800 people aged 25 or over started an advanced or higher level apprenticeship between August and October, a fall of 88% on the previous year (24,000).

The figures reinforce the view among sector leaders that extending the scheme to apprentices was a bad idea.

David Hughes, National Institute for Adult Continuing Education chief executive, said: “We have always had concerns about this policy and it quickly became evident that it was not working. This has been highlighted today by the substantial fall in the number of people, aged 25 and over, who are on advanced and higher level apprenticeships.

“These provisional figures are just 12% of those reported at this level last year.We are pleased the government has decided to scrap loans for advanced and higher level apprenticeships, but we are anxious to see what will replace them. We need clarity on the funding arrangements so that more people over 24 will be able to take advantage of the opportunities these apprenticeships offer.”