Today’s blog looks at a measure to save graduates money and the anniversary of the apprenticeship levy.
Student loan threshold
Today, Friday 6 April, the threshold at which graduates start paying pack their student loans has been raised from £21,000 to £25,000.
Around 600,000 university leavers will benefit from the change, which comes into effect from today. Over the 30 year lifetime of a student loan, after which any outstanding funds are written off by the government, this equates to a potential saving for some graduates of up to £24,000.
The move has been widely welcomed including by the National Union of Students and Martin Lewis of the Money Saving Expert website.
There is widespread coverage of this change on BBC Breakfast, BBC Online, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Times.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
The increase in the student repayment threshold marks a key milestone and I another example of the steps the Government is taking to support those in higher education.
We are seeing more 18-year-olds than ever before attend university, including the highest ever number from disadvantaged backgrounds and we want to give these students a fair deal both during their studies and afterwards too. Not only will it benefit hundreds of thousands of graduates in the next financial year alone, but millions in the years to come
Read Martin Lewis’ blog for more information on how graduates will benefit from the change.
Apprenticeship levy anniversary
Today marks one year since the introduction of the ground-breaking apprenticeship levy, which is improving the quality of apprenticeships and putting employers at the heart of the system.
The apprenticeship levy is a payment collected from large employers in both the public and the private sectors.
The levy, paid by businesses, can be accessed by those same businesses to fund apprenticeship training.
Now almost half (43 per cent) of all apprenticeship starts are supported by the levy.
Petra Wilson, the Director of Strategy at the Chartered Management Institute, has written about the anniversary in FE News.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:
We introduced the apprenticeship levy a year ago to improve both the quality of apprenticeships, and to create the long-term investment in skills training that British businesses need to grow.
Our reforms have fundamentally changed apprenticeships for the better. Apprenticeships standards with an end point assessment are developed by employers working with the Institute of Apprenticeships. They must last a minimum of a year and now give apprentices a recognised qualification understood by future employers and are a stepping stone to a successful career.
I’ve met lots of businesses up and down the country who have already kick-started amazing apprenticeship programmes and are using their levy funds to help change lives and get the skills they need. It has taken some business longer to get going on their apprenticeship programmes using the levy whilst many that I have met are forging ahead growing the numbers of apprentices with their businesses getting a skilled and loyal workforce.