16.01.09

Number of Career Development Loans To Treble

The number of career development loans available for people who want to undertake training, develop their skills and realise their full potential will treble under plans announced this week as part of the Government’s New Opportunities White Paper.

The big increase over the next two years will mean 45,000 new and rebranded Professional and Career Development Loans will be made available in 2010/11, up from the 15,000 currently available this financial year.

The new loans are also to be made more attractive by reducing the headline interest rates and allowing people to apply for loans of up to £10,000 to study at colleges, universities and private training providers - an increase from the current limit of £8,000.

Announcing details of the expansion, Skills Secretary John Denham said:

“Often in tougher times, people start to look at the options open to them in developing new skills or training up in something new. We know that as well as being more attractive to employers, people with better skills and higher levels of training will be better prepared to take advantage of new opportunities when the upturn comes.

“Our expansion of the new Professional and Career Development Loans will help thousands of people to access the support they need to make a success of their careers and realise their full potential, especially those who fall outside groups who automatically receive financial support.”

Under the CDL scheme, the Government pays the interest on the loan for the period of the course covered by the loan. The individual is then responsible for making repayments, including interest.

The Government also announced that it will pilot new earned rights of up to £500 worth of training for those caring for adults and children to support them in returning to the labour market and that it will expand Train to Gain to improve the skills of agency workers. Companies are to be encouraged to use Train to Gain funding to train agency workers they hire, even though they are not their permanent employer.

For more information about Career Development Loans go to: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/AdultLearning/FinancialHelpForAdultLearners/CareerDevelopmentLoans/index.htm