The Department for Education has set aside £2 million for a communications campaign to build awareness of the incoming lifelong loan entitlement (LLE).
Due to be rolled out in 2025, the LLE will provide individuals with the equivalent of four years of post-18 education to use over their lifetime.
Funding will be available to study at levels 4 to 6, for both modular and full-time study at colleges, universities, and other providers registered with the Office for Students.
While legislation for the policy works its way through parliament, officials in the DfE are turning their attention to efforts to spread the word to the public.
Commercial pipeline data for 2023/24 recently published by the DfE, which provides a forward look of potential commercial activity, shows that a 24-month communications campaign is in the works.
Scheduled to start from September 2023, the document shows £2 million has been earmarked for the project. However, little other information is currently available.
A DfE spokesperson told FE Week it is “too early to provide details of what the campaign will entail at this stage”, adding that the department is “undertaking initial research and development during this financial year to help us determine the nature of the campaign”.
A targeted communications campaign for the LLE was a recommendation in a research report from think tank Phoenix Insights last year. It explored the challenges people face to retrain throughout their life, and found that a big reason is because adults do not want to take on more debt.
A key finding that DfE officials may want to bear in mind was that the term “lifelong loan” was found to be unappealing to potential learners, with researchers calling for the language and branding of the scheme to be reframed.