@GillianKeegan has now been confirmed as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills. Here is the link to the DfE Ministerial portfolio confirmations.

After the recent Cabinet re-shuffle Gillian Keegan was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education on Friday 14th February 2020. Gillian was also a former Apprentice and grew up in Knowsley in Liverpool. In fact, she was the first degree level apprentice in the House of Commons. She previously worked with previous Skills Minister Matt Hancock at the Department for Health and Social Care. 

 

 Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for the Department of Education, had been personally heading up the brief for Apprenticeships after Anne Milton had resigned in July 2019.

So how has the sector responded to the news?

Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) comments:

"It’s great news that Gillian with her first-hand experience and knowledge of apprenticeships has been appointed to the post. Her corporate background also helps her understand the levy issues very well and she knows the power of work based learning. AELP looks forward to discussing with her the immediate challenge of funding SMEs’ apprenticeships as well as wider skills provision. Gillian’s apprenticeship for Matt Hancock at the Health department is now over and we see how it leads to a well-deserved promotion!”

Kirsti Lord, Deputy Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC) comments:

“AoC looks forward to working with Gillian Keegan as she takes up her role within the Department for Education. With a renewed focus on colleges, skills and apprenticeships it is a crucial time and absolutely right that we have a designated skills minister to prioritise this work. I hope this latest appointment means that holistic reform to the post-16 education system and making sure everyone can achieve, regardless of their background and circumstances, will be priority for this government.”

Tom Bewick, Chief Executive of the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) said:

"FAB welcomes the appointment of Gillian Keegan. Our Chair, Paul Eeles, wrote to the Prime Minister at the start of the year for the reinstatement of a skills and apprenticeships minister. What is great about this appointment is that the new Minister has herself been an apprentice. She has worked extensively in industry before entering Parliament; and she has been a champion for education and skills as a back-bencher.

"In truth, though, the new Minister is going to find the "best job in government" quite challenging initially. There are big decisions ahead on the future of the Apprenticeship Levy; and public support for qualifications at Level 3 and below. It will be interesting to see if Keegan takes on the "Whitehall knows best" tendency. Too many skills policy reforms are driven from the top-down. It makes decision-making sclerotic. The regulatory burden is growing. As a result, there is a lack of transparency and accountability of who is responsible for what, or sufficient challenge of unelected officials running large agencies. 

Tom Bewick continues: "The Minister should not be in the day-to-day running of England’s skills and apprenticeship system, but she should take the lead on policy formulation and driving higher levels of performance. Crucially, I would say, the Minister should chair a monthly Skills Alliance Board, where the statutory bodies and key representative organisations, like FAB, are brought together to plan out how working together we can create a lifelong learning system that is the envy of the world. If this doesn’t happen, Ms Keegan will join some of the other recent skills ministers who have struggled to make a real impact on improving the life chances of young people and adults in England. Data from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, for example, shows that 4 million adult learners have been lost to the system since 2005; and young people are increasingly missing out on apprenticeships. This is perhaps the yardstick by which most of us working in the sector will want to hold the new skills and apprenticeship minister to account." 

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of the Learning and Work Institute said

"I’m really pleased at Gillian’s appointment. She has a great job and, as a champion of skills and a former apprentice, is ideally placed to do it.

 "Learning and skills are central to the Government’s ambition of levelling up opportunity across the country. However, improvements in skills have stalled over the last decade as investment has been cut. One of the new Minister’s first jobs will be to make the case for more investment in learning and skills in the Budget and spending review. We argued for an extra £1.5bn per year across England to take participation in learning back to 2010 levels.

"But as well as investing more, we need to invest wisely too. That means taking action on the apprenticeship levy. Our research showed this is running out of money with funding for SMEs being squeezed. The Government needs to tackle this head on, either investing more, increasing levy contributions, or asking employers to contribute more for apprenticeships for some employees.

"On top of this, we need details on the Shared Prosperity Fund that will replace ESF funding now the UK has left the EU, and to plan the design of the National Skills Fund for England. In all of this, I hope the Government will take a collaborative approach to working with people across the sector who want to get this right.

"There’s a lot to do, but a great chance to make a real difference.” 

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page