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Student Finance

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what help is given to school leavers who wish to attend non-university courses and apprenticeships; and what financial assistance is available to them. [119622]

There is a range of financial support and assistance available to young people on leaving school. The Minimum Training Allowance is available for those who follow a work-based vocational route and who do not have waged status. For those continuing in learning, the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available in 56 LEA areas in England. The EMA is a weekly allowance for 16–19 year olds and will be made available nationally from September 2004.For those who face specific barriers there is financial support available through the Learner Support Funds. This provides help towards transport costs, books and equipment, residential allowances and help with child care. The Connexions Service provides a wide range of advice and support to young people regarding entry into further education and training. In addition, the Connexions Card enables students to collect rewards and discounts for participating in learning.The support arrangements for school leavers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are a matter for the devolved administrations.