I was pleased to be in #Parliament for Education Questions today, taking questions on important topics such as the work the Department for Education is doing to boost skills & technical education, on additional support for university students and how we are supporting SEN & disabled children to climb the Ladder of Opportunity.
The Department for Education is putting employers at the heart of local skills systems to help guarantee our skills provision meets our labour market needs. We are also ensuring that apprenticeships, T-Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQ) are employer-led to further support this.
I was pleased to respond to Dr Ben Spencer MP to show how this Government is investing £18m to help with employment opportunities and careers guidance for disabled pupils & pupils with SEN to climb the skills ladder of opportunity.
90% of schools & colleges are now part of the Department’s #CareersHub. In Lancashire, over 10,000 young people have started their apprenticeship journey and it was also an early adopter of T-Levels.
Student finance must be fair for students, but also to the taxpayer. As I told the House, the Government has:
✅Provided a £15m increase taking the total to around £276m to support students with additional financial support.
✅Frozen student loans for 7 years.
Furthermore, this Government is delivering for children and students:
✅Over 5m apprenticeship starts since their inception in 2010
✅£3.8bn investment in skills
✅C.80% of schools are now rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’
Upskilling our workforce is the key motivation behind the Goverment’s approach. We are:
✅Investing £3.8bn in skills over this Parliament.
✅Investing in recruitment and FE resources.
✅Providing bursaries in key FE subjects like STEM to ensure the country has the skills we need.
Responding to Michael Ellis, I confirmed the steps this Government is taking to support student mental health after learning about the tragic loss of Theo during a moving meeting with his staff member.
The Government is investing £50m and is strongly supporting the Student Mental Health Charter. Prof Edward Peck of Nottingham Trent University is also undertaking vital work to consider what more can be done to support students’ mental health and wellbeing whilst at university.