It can be a young person’s income for up to three years. While it provides cash for transport, books and materials it is not intended solely for that. Most have no other income. Do they not need clothes and entertainment?
Research shows EMAs increased the numbers in education (30% would not have done their courses without it).
It also increased A level grades by discouraging some from excessive paid work.
My daughter’s 6th form told parents that jobs should be limited to 4-5 hours a week. With five full days at school, 16 hours per week homework, plus voluntary work placements needed for university applications, any more would interfere with studies. Jobs are very hard to find; jobs with these hours even harder.
EMAs helped many get on to apprenticeships through Entry to Employment schemes. Programme Led Apprenticeships have given trainees an EMA (if eligible) as their ‘wage’. And many who’ve completed construction apprenticeships find they need a college course.
My 18 year old son successfully completed an 18 month £95pw joinery apprenticeship, to NVQ level 2, with a learning provider. But job agencies don’t accept 18 months as sufficient experience. After several temporary labouring jobs, with £51.85 pw JSA in between, he’s now studying for joinery level 3. Without £30 EMA and a top up from me, he could not have done his course; he would have no income. His apprenticeship would have gone to waste.
Saying that many would do their courses without EMA relies on parents replacing the money. Abolishing EMA hits households with the lowest incomes the most; a household’s income has to be below £20,817 for £30 per week (per young person). It exploits parents’ desire to enable their offspring to get a career. Meanwhile, the millionaires keep their cash.
Everyone needs an income. Is £1170 (39 weeks at £30) really too much?