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Businesses to Take-Off with Pilot’s Learner Loans

Black Country businesses are set to take off, thanks to a government initiative that is helping employees to fund their own learning.

Local training experts, Pilot, are helping employers to give their workforce access to national Advanced Apprenticeship Loans, offered by the Skills Funding Agency.

Providing the funds necessary for an individual to finance their own skills development, the “learner loan” works on a similar basis to a student loan, with the recipient repaying funds based on their earnings. It is proving to be hugely popular for employers and employees alike.

“We work with lots of businesses in this region that want to offer development opportunities for their staff, but may not be in a position to do so, whether due to funding ineligibility or being unaware of the external support available,” explained Pilot Director, Andy Pettigrew.

“The learner loans are a proven means of enhancing employee engagement, skill levels and productivity – essentially mitigating some of the financial risks of up-skilling a workforce without losing any of the benefits.”

Latest government figures demonstrate the growing popularity of the scheme, with applications reaching almost 20,000 between May and July 2016.

Just over a quarter of requests were made by 19- to 23-year-olds, who were able to apply for the loans in May for the first time.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “Advanced learner loans enable adults of all ages to gain the skills they need and move up the ladder of opportunity. It’s great to see such a good take-up from those aged 19 to 23.”

With increased demand nationally, working with a recognised training provider can ensure that the application process is a smooth one for employees keen to progress.

“Most requests can be processed within just a few days, so it really is a quick and convenient way to access funds and kick start the learning process,” added Andy

Last modified on Monday, 10 October 2016 16:21

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