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Skills loans service goes online



Professional and Career Development Loans becomes third service to run on Advantage Digital

The bank loan service run by the Skills Funding Agency has moved onto Capita’s Advantage Digital, becoming the third service to use the platform.

The Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL) service follows the 16-19 Vulnerable Bursary Fund and Care to Learn Schemes, which shifted to the system last year.

It is aimed at eliminating paper applications and reducing human interactions with a digital self-service process, supported by a webchat function to provide support at any stage.

Capita said that previously the banks taking part in PCDL received a high volume of paper based applications that were incomplete, inaccurate or required further validation. Under the new system applicants’ eligibility can be assessed and details validated before the information is sent to a bank.

Dual benefits

A spokesperson for the Skills Funding Agency said: “The replacement of paper forms with this streamlined, easy-to-use and secure solution will benefit both the student and the bank providing PCDL loans.

“Advantage Digital will reduce the return of incomplete forms or those submitted with errors, increasing the likelihood of them being successfully processed and people gaining access to the education and training they need.”

As part of this project a second digital form has also been created which allows potential students to request the registration of their university or college courses if they are not currently listed for PCDL. 

A PCDL is a bank loan, for between £300 and £10,000, for which the Skills Funding Agency pays the interest while students are in learning. It attracts approximately 13,000 enquiries and 9,000 applications per year.

Image: Howard Lake, CC BY-SA 2.0 through flickr

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