Lifelong Learning Accounts were made available last week despite no formal announcement and minimal publicity from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
At the time of publication neither the SFA nor BIS had published a press release, although the SFA had included them as an item in their weekly update.
A BIS spokesperson said: “There is no central marketing budget for Lifelong Learning Accounts. The accounts will be promoted via colleges, careers advisors and through no-cost communications channels.”
The SFA, when contacted by when contacted by FE Week, said: “Lifelong “Lifelong Learning Accounts are now live. Providers are encouraged to advise their customers to open an account today.”
A Lifelong Learning Account is a free, personalised online account for adults aged 19 or over that provides users with information and advice on skills, careers and financial support.
Accounts are available through all SFA funded providers and will be supported by Next Step, a public funded service offering support for learners via telephone and face-toface advisers.
The SFA hopes to have one million account holders and improve both rates of retention and course success by December 2012.
A PowerPoint presentation available on the SFA website (click here) says the accounts will “help in fast-tracking of learners at enrolment.”
Download the Lifelong Learning Account poster now from the publications section of the Skills Funding Agency website