A former government adviser says school leavers should get £20,000 to stay in training

Only 20% of students will ever pay back their loans in full, leaving UK taxpayers to pick up a multi-billion-pound tab every year.

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It would work out as better value for the UK taxpayer than the current system of student loans, according to a new report .

A former government adviser has said student loans should be scrapped and that instead every 18-year-old who stays in training should be given a £20,000 lump sum.

This would work out as better value for the UK taxpayer than the current system of student loans, according to a new report by Tom Richmond who is now director of EDSK, a think-tank specialising in education and skills.

A new report by Tom Richmond – Free to Choose ­– argues that the £20,000 loan should be available for all school leavers to spend on either university, college or an apprenticeship.

Last February, Theresa May ordered a review of post-18 education, under pressure on the issue after Jeremy Corbyn pledged to abolish tuition fees, winning wide support from young voters.  

The report says that almost a third of graduates are now in non-graduate jobs, with some earning less than if they hadn’t gone to university at all.

Only 20% of students will ever pay back their loans in full, the report says, leaving UK taxpayers to pick up a multi-billion-pound tab every year.

Richmond – who used to advise the Department for Education – also argues that the loan repayment threshold should be lowered from £25,000 to £12,500, which would mean that a greater proportion is paid back by graduates.

The report says that almost a third of graduates are now in non-graduate jobs, with some earning less than if they hadn’t gone to university at all.

Giving every 18-year-old a lump sum of cash and the freedom to choose how they spend it would encourage students to give more serious consideration to technical and vocational routes, it adds.

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