From education to employment

Department for Education departmental plan for post-16 and skills

The Department for Education has set out its objectives and how it will deliver them.

Post-16 and skills

Lead ministers

The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister or State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Lead officials

Paul Kett Director General, Higher and Further Education

Eileen Milner Chief Executive Officer, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)


T Levels

Deliver T Levels as a gold standard for technical and professional excellence, ensuring our young people can access a world-class education whichever route they choose (supports SDG 4 and 8)

Apprenticeship Reform

Continue our ground-breaking reforms to apprenticeships, with quality at the core (supports SDG 4 and 8)

Augar Review

Consider the review of post-18 education and funding to make sure that our system is joined up and promotes access and success in all forms of post-18 education – providing real choice, quality and value for money for everyone, as well as delivering the skills our country needs

National Retraining Scheme

Develop a national retraining scheme to drive up adult learning and retraining (supports SDG 4 and 8)

Level 3 and Below Qualifications Review

Launch the review of qualifications at level 3 and below with extensive public consultation, and design and implement a T Level transition offer

Level 4 and 5 Qualifications Review

Scrutinise the quality of technical education at higher levels through a qualifications review, focused on levels 4 and 5 (supports SDG 4)

Improve FE

Improve capacity, quality and resilience of the further education sector

Industrial Strategy

Work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to support the implementation of the Industrial Strategy, by reforming the skills system to deliver skills demanded by employers, and needed to boost productivity (supports SDG 9)

FE Status and Reputation

Raise the status of our further education teaching profession

Careers Advice

Improve the quality of careers advice and guidance for children, young people and adults so that they are aware of the breadth of opportunities available to them (supports SDG 4)

International Reputation

Boost exports by making the most of our international reputation in the provision of higher education and other areas


Put in place the right conditions for a flourishing education technology sector, supporting innovative ideas in online and offline delivery


Quality apprenticeships starts

We will report to Parliament on the progress of our work with, and commitment to, employers on achieving 3 million high-quality apprenticeship starts.

The department has published new figures today (27 Jun) showing that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and apprenticeships has increased to 81.3% – the highest since records began 25 years ago.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

“I’m pleased that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and apprenticeships has increased to 81.3% – the highest since records began 25 years ago.

“We want more young people to have the opportunity to learn new skills, get the jobs they want and build successful careers. Our new T Levels will offer young people high-quality technical courses on a par with the best in the world.

“Our changes to apprenticeships mean they are now longer, higher-quality and with more off-the-job training”.

Source: Further education and skills: March 2019; release schedule: monthly

Overall effectiveness of further education and skills providers at their most recent inspection

Source: Further education and skills: inspection outcomes; release schedule: annually

Percentage of first degree leavers in work or study 6 months after graduation from English higher education institutions

Graduation year Percentage of first degree leavers in work or study
2016 to 2017 90%
2015 to 2016 90%
2014 to 2015 89%
2013 to 2014 89%
2012 to 2013 88%

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency Higher education leavers statistics: UK, 2016 to 2017; release schedule: annually

Corporate transformation

Permanent Secretary

Jonathan Slater

Lead officials

Mike Green Chief Operating Officer, Operations Group

Emran Mian Director General for Strategy and International

Our transformation aims
Be user-centered: we know who our users are and meet their needs
Deliver end-to-end: we design and deliver around our users’ needs
Empower yourself and others: we value teams who take initiative and make improvements
Make evidence-based decisions: we use evidence to make effective decisions

Our transformation aims will help us work together to improve and are underpinned by the 3 Civil Service Leadership Statement values:

  1. Inspiring
  2. Confident, and
  3. Empowering

As well as working together to achieve our transformation aims and live our values, we also need to improve our ways of working and our workplace to be a brilliant department in ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’.

People survey engagement score

Year Engagement score
2018 65%
2017 63%
2016 62%
Source: Civil Service People Survey; release schedule: annually

Percentage of spend that is allocated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Financial year Percentage of total spend
2017 to 2018 23.6%
2016 to 2017 32.7%
2015 to 2016 28.3%
Source: Central government spend with SMEs data; release schedule: annually

Greenhouse gas emissions

Change between chart and table

Financial year Percentage reduction from 2009 to 2010 baseline
2017 to 2018 55%
2016 to 2017 48%
2015 to 2016 51%
Source: Greening Government Commitments annual reports; release schedule: annually


Department for education single departmental plan


[Withdrawn] Department for Education single departmental plan – May 2018


[Withdrawn] Department for Education single departmental plan – December 2017



Our single departmental plan sets out our objectives and how we will achieve them.

Published 14 December 2017
Last updated 27 June 2019 + show all updates

  1. Added single departmental plan for 2019.
  2. Added the May 2018 single departmental plan.
  3. Changes to reflect new ministerial portfolios
  4. First published.

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