Tony Blair’s mantra of ‘Education, Education, Education’ may have been enough to satisfy the electorate that this was the first Labour government worthy of a second full term in power but, for the majority of the population, what is happening in our schools remains a mystery. However a commitment to enabling lifelong learning, and a second chance for people to get the education they want was also an element in both the 1997 and 2001 Labour manifesto’s. So what has been done for the population over the age of 19? Individual Learning Accounts are the answer.
Fully introduced in September 2000, Individual Learning Accounts offer financial incentives to anyone over the age of 19 to begin training or courses in a variety of disciplines. Any British citizen over the age of 19 can open an account and the financial incentives to do so are excellent. The first million people can claim a £150 contribution towards their first course, provided they are willing to contribute £25 of their own money towards the cost. Alternatively learners can claim a 20% discount, up to a value of £100 a year on a wide variety of packages ranging from advanced IT skills to journalism. This 20% discount leaps to 80% for certain types of courses such as computer literacy or introductory maths.
The former Minister for Education, David Blunkett, now Home Secretary, said of the ILA initiative,
"I am pleased that more than a third of a million have already opened Individual Learning Accounts… The accounts offer people the chance to realise how much they can benefit by investing in their learning, and therefore their future, and we want many more people to open and use an Individual Learning Account.”
Individual Learning accounts offer a fantastic opportunity for graduates and people returning to work to brush up on the sort of skills required in the modern workplace. PharmiWeb understands that a number of education and training providers offering courses specific to the Pharmaceutical sector are in the process of gaining accreditation to become ILA learning providers, in addition to the huge range of providers offering apposite training. We will be providing contact details as and when they become available, for the moment though all you need to get started with your ILA follows.
The national hotline numbers for Individual Learning Accounts are 0800 072 5678 for individuals to order information packs, and 0800 072 4949 for learning providers, or you can apply online at the following address www.my-ila.com