Great to be back in Parliament today with my ministerial colleagues from Department for Education for the first Education Oral Questions session of the term.
Pleased to begin by talking about my 2 favourite words – ‘degree apprenticeships’!
With over 180,000 degree apprenticeship starts since 2014 and an additional £40 million investment over the next two years, the Department for Education are taking positive strides to increase the uptake of degree apprenticeships.
To support more students from disadvantaged backgrounds to take up a degree apprenticeship, the Government is:
✅ Transforming careers advice in schools to highlight this pathway.
✅ Office for Students have asked Higher Education institutions to increase proportion of Level 4, Level 5 & degree apprenticeships as part of their reforms to widen access.
✅ Increased the care leavers bursary from £1,000 to £3,000
Happy to confirm to my colleague Siobhan Baillie that through the #SkillsForLife campaign & by working with UCAS to ensure apprenticeships are treated equally with degrees, the Department for Education is working hard to raise awareness of this important opportunity.
Also pleased to confirm to the House that apprenticeship starts have increased by 8.6% over the past year with higher apprenticeship starts increasing by 11%. The £750m figure which has been quoted by the media over the weekend is the amount that the Govt is sharing with the devolved administrations to spend on apprenticeship support.
This Government are taking a number of steps to improve access to high-quality apprenticeships:
✅ Improving the quality of apprenticeships through moving to a new set of standards
✅ Asked all providers to re-register to ensure quality provision
✅ Ofsted will inspect all providers by 2025
✅ £7.5m for Provider Workforce Development Programme