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SFA learner support: financial help for learners

Informs training organisations about financial support to help learners take part in further education and how to apply for it.

Discretionary learner support

Discretionary Learner Support can be used to support learners with a specific financial hardship that prevents them from taking part in further education. Examples of this support may include financing childcare, transport costs, trips and other equipment.

For more information, learners should contact the student support officer at the college or school sixth form at which they study, or intend to study. Colleges and training organisations should refer to the discretionary learner support section in the funding rules.

Loan bursary fund

Learners who have a 24+ advanced learning loan can be supported through the loan bursary fund with childcare, transport costs and necessary adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.

24+ loans learners should contact the student support officer at the college or school sixth form at which they study, or intend to study, to find out more. Colleges and training organisations should refer to the 24+ advanced learning loans bursary fund section in the funding rules.

Professional and career development loan: learning provider list

A professional and career development loan (PCDL) is a commercial bank loan to help pay for learning that will improve the employability of the learner or lead them into employment. As a commercial bank loan, all lending decisions are taken by the banks involved. The Agency will pay the interest on the loan while the learner is learning.

A learning provider has to be confirmed on the PCDL learning provider list before the learner can apply for a PCDL.

To register as a PCDL learning provider for the first time, you will need to read the PCDL learning provider list guidance and complete the appropriate forms.

For more information learners should visit https://www.gov.uk/career-development-loans or call 0800 100 900 to assess suitability and order an application pack.

Learning providers should contact providers@pcdlsupport.co.uk or telephone 0300 303 8610.

  1. PCDL learning provider list – how to get on it

    • Guidance

Professional and career development loan: resources for advisors

The big picture is a desk aid which information advice and guidance professionals, such as university or college careers advisors, Jobcentre Plus advisors, National Careers Service advisors and union learning representatives, can use to provide impartial information, advice and guidance to potential learners about a PCDL.

However, PCDLs should not be used by learning providers to encourage learners to enrol on their courses. Learning providers must act responsibly in helping individuals choose learning and support which is relevant to their needs and abilities.

  1. PCDL: big picture – information for careers advice professionals

    • Guidance