From education to employment

Justine Greening: Britain needs a skills revolution

Education Secretary Justine Greening

Mission to deliver world-class technical education to give young people the best start.

Education Secretary Justine Greening has today (6 July) set out her mission to spark the skills revolution needed to help Britain make a success of leaving the European Union.

In a keynote speech to business leaders at the British Chambers of Commerce Education summit, Justine Greening told business leaders that the country can only rise to the challenge of developing the skills and talents of our young people if government and business work together. This includes developing plans for new T levels, backed by an extra £500 million of government investment per year announced in the budget, which will help build the army of skilled young people that business and the country need.

Justine Greening also outlined plans to deliver the huge range of skills needed to make Britain a success, everything from coding to engineering and construction to design, at a time when migration remains high on the political agenda.

Education Secretary Justine Greening told the business audience:

I want to create an army of skilled young people for British business. But I need your help. Government can’t do it alone.

Because that’s what we need, never more than now. A skills revolution for Brexit Britain. That’s the real strategy on migration.

Great companies need great people. And my Department has a mission to give our young people the very best start – to become those great people.

The introduction of T-Levels will be the next stage in this journey – a gold standard for technical and professional excellence. Offered alongside apprenticeships, they will form the basis of our new technical education system.

Delivering these reforms will be a challenge. I am clear there is only one way to get this right – through a genuine partnership between business, government and education professionals. This means we need a collective plan. One plan. One team. for skills.

A skills revolution. A technical education revolution. That is how we meet those challenges – head on. It’s how we build our future.

T levels will build on the success of the government’s ambitious reforms that have already contributed to the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training being at a record low.

But still too many young people are being left behind, which is why the Education Secretary is responding to calls from business and education experts – CBI, BCC, Ofqual, the Association of Colleges and Lord Sainsbury – to get technical education right for a new generation.

Justine Greening also announced:

  • £50 million investment from April 2018 to fund high quality work placements -a key component of every T Level – to help prepare young people for skilled work
  • £15m to contribute to improvements in further education so we have the colleges and teachers we need to deliver the new T levels
  • Plans to bolster the role of the current Further Education Commissioner – Richard Atkins – who will take on responsibility for Further Education Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges
  • Plans for a Department for Education summit with businesses in the autumn to start developing the T level curriculum

Lord David Sainsbury, chair of the Independent Panel on Technical Education, whose report led to the reforms, said: “The introduction of T-levels are an essential reform to technical education. England must develop world-class technical qualifications that will maintain the confidence of employers not just for a few years, but for decades to come.”

david hughes 100 x100David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “The introduction of T Levels represents a great opportunity to make a step change in how technical and professional education is viewed in this country. To achieve that we need the government to consider and develop a picture of the whole system of post 16 skills and the implementation planning in partnership with employers, students, colleges and others. I am pleased that the Secretary of State has set that ambition out very clearly – a proper co-creation which meets employer needs as well as supporting more people to succeed in learning, find work and progress through long and fruitful careers.”

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