The Liberal Democrats have confirmed to the Global Education Times that their proposed £10,000 Skills Wallet will be available to all UK residents, including EU and non-EU nationals, and refugees.
As part of their manifesto pledge for General Election 2019, the Lib Dems have announced their vision for a “new era of learning throughout life” with the creation of a £10,000 Skills Wallet.
The Liberal Democrats have confirmed to Global Education Times that this £10,000 Skills Wallet will be open to not just British nationals but also all residents of the UK, EEA national, non-EEA nationals with residence in the UK, and refugees resident in the country.
A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats told Global Education Times: “These accounts will be open to every adult (aged 18 or over) ordinarily resident in England who has recourse to public funds – so all UK and EEA nationals, refugees and others who have settled status will get one.”
With this move, the Lib Dems claim they will give every adult £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives.
The Lib Dems Skills Wallet plans “ambitious” and future focused
If in power, the Liberal Democrats claim they would put £4,000 into people’s ‘Skills Wallet’ at age 25, £3,000 at age 40, and another £3,000 at 55.
The grants are intended to encourage savings towards the cost of education and training throughout adult life.
The wallets can be topped up by individuals, employers and local government and access to free careers guidance will be provided.
Sam Gyimah, Liberal Democrat Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary said: “By stopping Brexit and investing in our Skills Wallets, Liberal Democrats will empower people to develop new skills so that they can thrive in the technologies and industries that are key to the UK’s economic future and prosperity.”
A range of approved courses will be open to spend the funding on
The money can be spent by individuals how and when they choose on a range of approved education and training courses – only those from regulated providers and monitored by the Office for Students.
Were the Liberal Democrats to form a government from the December 2019 election, the policy will come in in 2021-2022, giving time to consult on it and ensure it is effectively implemented.
Liberal Democrats claim they will pay for it by reversing cuts to Corporation Tax and return the rate to 20%, where it stood in 2016.
Because education is fully devolved, the policy only applies in England. However, under the Barnett formula, extra funding will be made available to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.