Boost your prospects while serving
How your ELC can benefit both you and your Service
As noted elsewhere in this publication, the main purpose of ELC is to encourage serving personnel to pursue higher-level learning that benefits both the learner and the Armed Forces. This is to comply with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules, which state that any money provided for your personal development has to be of immediate benefit to both the Armed Forces and the individual – if not, the MoD would be liable for tax! (See the accompanying box for more tax-related information.)
The best of both worlds is offered by those courses that will benefit your own career and promotion prospects in the Services – and ultimately help you find employment on leaving – as well as offering a benefit to the Service while you remain in uniform.
Some of the areas of education that your Service role might require, but that are also highly likely to prove useful once you leave the Forces, could include accountancy and management qualifications, or courses related to health and safety, and facilities or project management. Depending on your Service role, you could find yourself in a position to embark on a range of studies that will turn out to have a very useful crossover into the civilian workplace when the time comes for you to make the transition.
For example, thinking of IT training as an example, the Tech Partnership (a network of employers working to creating skills for the UK’s digital economy) has been involved in putting together a matrix of eligible higher-level vendor IT qualifications, which in these high-tech times will prove as useful to you on leaving as they are while you remain in Service. Similar work has taken place with Summit Skills with regard to building services engineering-related courses. A great many other areas are likely to serve you well in future, too – not forgetting the benefit to your Service branch now, of course!
Tax exemption measures for those who are no longer serving
Under the ELC scheme, most courses of study undertaken by individuals still serving are exempt from taxation, either as income or as a benefit in kind, if they can be justified as ‘work related’. In order for Service leavers to benefit fully, too, HMRC and MoD worked together to reach an agreement on tax exemption. This means that the Service leaver (or their surviving spouse, civil partner or eligible partner, where appropriate) will not be required to pay income tax on payments received under the ELC and FEHE schemes. This allows them to draw maximum benefit from the schemes.
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