Adults under the age of 25 who have missed out on education and training opportunities will be able to get free tuition to obtain a first, full level 3 qualification, equivalent to 2 A levels, from this August.

The new entitlement for the key intermediate technician level skills employers say they need will provide routes back for those who left education early and want to return to improve their qualifications and job prospects.


Announcing the new entitlement Bill Rammell, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education said:


“The entitlement will encourage young adults to continue studying until they achieve the equivalent of 2 A levels and make sure they can get the qualifications to improve their life chances, social mobility and contribute to the economy


“We need to recognise that many young people continue their initial education into their early twenties. It is important that we support them and help them succeed and progress on to higher education where they can.


“The Leitch Review of skills recognised the importance of raising the number of people qualified to A level equivalent. Higher intermediate skills are increasingly critical to the success of business and productive employment.


“We lag behind France and Germany in the proportion of our young adults achieving A level equivalent qualifications in their early twenties. Introducing a free entitlement up to A Level will help address this problem and bring us closer to a coherent package of support for learners up to the age of 25.“


Mark Haysom, Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council, said:


“The introduction of the new entitlement will undoubtedly play an important role in helping young adults upgrade and develop their skills. Removing financial barriers will allow them to take the opportunity to prepare themselves for success in life through the education and training system, providing routes back for those who left education early and want to return in order to improve their qualifications and job prospects”.


The new entitlement will be available from August 07 through colleges of further education and other providers of high quality education and training who have satisfied the Learning and Skills Council quality assurance process.