The UK government is proposing maintenance loans for higher-level learners in technical and professional education, including those with ties to the built environment. This includes the new National Colleges and the emerging Institutes of Technology. The government wants to remove the up-front cost – and increase the uptake of technical and professional learning in sectors that are of vital importance to the economy.
The CIOB submitted a response to the consultation which emphasised its support for the introduction of maintenance loans for technical and professional education. But, without sufficient reform to careers education, advice and guidance we remain cautious of the effectiveness of any such measure.
Whilst it is undoubtedly important to improve access to finance, the introduction of maintenance loans is unlikely to have the desired effect unless it is accompanied by a genuine commitment to help the construction industry overcome some of the issues surrounding its image and attract more new entrants.
Related Link: Further Education Maintenance Loans document