Skip to main content

AoC responds to Lifelong Learning Entitlement announcement

7th March 2023

Responding to the Government's announcement on the Lifelong Learning Entitlement David Hughes, AoC Chief Executive said: "LLE has the potential to be a game-changer, as an important part of a stronger system of lifelong learning in England, so it is good to see the Bill and this publication. I hope that this heralds the beginning of a major cultural shift in England to change thinking about post-18 education and training. With people working for over 50 years amidst enormous technological and societal changes, flexible, modular learning needs to become more mainstream.

The Bill and this publication address some of the technical challenges of implementation, including the capacity of the Student Loan Company and the definition of modules. Beyond that, though, we need to see more thinking about how LLE fits into the whole tertiary education offer, including FE and apprenticeships, at every level and particularly at Level 3 and below, because demand at Level 4 depends on pathways for adults to take form lower levels.

Whilst the need for a lifelong learning culture is clear – with an ageing population, a lack of people with technical skills needed by employers, technological change and the need to move rapidly to a net zero economy, we need a whole system approach to ensure every adult has the capacity, motivation and opportunities to carry on learning throughout their lives at all levels. The LLE might help with that, but on its own it will not be sufficient to change the behaviours and priorities of the vast majority of people who believe that achieving a Bachelor’s degree is the gold standard.