The papers today have been full of Vince Cable’s proposal that all 16-year olds should have access to an £18,000 endowment for education.

Here is an extract from The Sun:

Teenagers should get £18,000 to spend on further education to re-balance inequality between the generations, Sir Vince Cable has said.

The Lib Dem leader today unveiled his plans for an “endowment fund” which would be used for young people to spend throughout their lives.

And from the Daily Telegraph:

A new wealth tax could extract some of the housing value owned by older Brits, which Cable wants to use to give all 18-year olds a lump sum to spend on education of their choosing, at any point in their adult lives.

This “endowment” could be worth £18,000, he said, covering two years of university fees.

The Times:

…plans for an “endowment” for all young people at 16 or 18 to “invest in education and skills over their life”. The policy is still in gestation, but Sir Vince said that at £18,000 each, it would cost £15 billion a year. Funds could be found from a “wealth tax or removing reliefs on capital gains tax”.

What do you think? I have three teenagers, so it is a topic of interest for us, especially as one will definitely go to university, one is already at a local college, and the other one is looking at the training/apprenticeship route.

This fund equals opportunity for all forms of education, levelling the playing field which tends to favour university degrees.

Businesses want a well-trained work force, full-stop. An endowment fund, for each young person, enables them to pursue their dreams and develop their talents, whatever the mode of training/education. The pot is also available for life, so those who work early and then wish to retrain have access for further education.

Hopefully I’ve started the debate – do say whether you think this is a good idea or not….