The Ministry of Defence promotes learning among members of the armed forces and the veterans community by providing what are known as Learning Credits through the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme and Further Education and Higher Education scheme. Both of these entitle service personnel and service leavers to receive financial help with the cost of their learning.
From 1 April 2016, there will be some changes to the schemes to make them more accessible and to enable people to use them to gain personal and professional qualifications in a more flexible way, both while serving and after transition to civilian life.
For those still serving, everyone will now benefit from being enrolled automatically, removing the need to apply. However, for veterans who leave on or after 1 April 2016, post-service access to ELC and FEHE payments will now be retained for a maximum of 5 years from discharge.
For those who left the armed forces between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 16 (both dates inclusive), special arrangements have been put in place and they will have until 31 March 2021 to use their ELC or FEHE credits, ie 5 years from the date the changes came into effect. Those who left the services before 1 April 2011 retain the right to 10 years of post-service access from their date of discharge.
More information on the schemes, and these changes, is available at www.enhancedlearningcredits.com