HC Deb 20 July 1988 vol 137 c620W
Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether he intends to make career development loans available nationally; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Fowler

From today career development loans are available throughout Great Britain. We have piloted career development loans from April 1986 in four areas. Evaluation has shown that they are a very useful addition to the training infrastructure of the country. During the pilot a total of almost £1.4 million pounds has been lent to more than 650 people to undertake a wide range of vocational training. Career development loans will continue to be run in partnership with the three banks which participated in the pilot, Barclays, the Clydesdale and the Co-operative. Anyone aged 18 or over who lives or intends to train in Great Britain will be able to apply. The Government provide an incentive to borrowers by paying the interest on the loan during the period of training and for up to three months afterwards and guarantee a proportion of the loans to make it easier for the banks to consider lending for vocational training. The costs of the expanded scheme will be met from within the existing resources of the Department.