From education to employment

Help shape employer-led approvals system for Lifelong Learning Entitlement

Students working

IfATE is consulting on how the employer stamp of approval should be granted to technical qualifications funded through the Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE).

This new flexible loan system will transform the post-18 student finance system in England. From September 2025, it will create a single means of funding support to help people pay for college or university courses, and train, retrain and upskill flexibly over their working lives.

The LLE will be available to pay for courses at level 4 to level 6, such as a degree or technical qualifications, and modules of high-value technical courses at level 4 to level 5.

The Department for Education has asked IfATE to extend its employer-led approvals system – already successfully implemented for apprenticeships, T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications – to technical qualifications set to be funded by LLE. This is the best way of making sure they meet the skills needs of large and small business and support learners into successful careers.

The consultation launched today seeks input and feedback around how this should be done.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of IfATE, said:

“I would like to encourage as many people as possible, who care about lifelong learning, to take part in this consultation. The LLE will provide invaluable support for people from all backgrounds to train and retrain when it works for them. The courses it funds must be recognised by businesses, if they are going to really benefit learners, which is why it’s so important they receive IfATE’s employer-led stamp of approval. This is a great opportunity to help build the right system for doing this.”

Employer-led approval, through IfATE, will be a mandatory requirement for new Ofqual-regulated qualifications to receive LLE funding. 

This consultation is seeking views on: the qualification categories used for approval; criteria and guidance relating to modularity; and ways in which IfATE might ensure the new system is accessible for all users. 

Responses are welcome from employers; awarding bodies; colleges, independent training providers and universities; professional, statutory and regulatory bodies; and learners. 

It will be open until 11:59pm on 1 April, 2024 and can be completed online via the consultation document. Requests for emailed copies of the consultation document can also be sent to [email protected].

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