From education to employment

Jacqui Smith appointed as new Minister for Skills, Further and Higher Education!

Jacqui Smith

Appointment to Key Education Role

Jacqui Smith, a veteran Labour Party politician, has been appointed Minister of State for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education in Prime Minister Keir Starmer’s new government. This appointment follows Labour’s triumphant victory in the 2024 general election.

Smith’s Political Career: Milestones and Challenges

Smith’s political career has been marked by significant milestones and challenges. She served as a Member of Parliament for Redditch from 1997 to 2010, during which time she held several ministerial positions under Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 2007, she made history by becoming the first woman to hold the office of Home Secretary under Gordon Brown’s leadership. However, her tenure was not without controversy, as her involvement in the 2009 parliamentary expenses scandal led to her resignation from the Cabinet and subsequent loss of her parliamentary seat in the 2010 election.

Life After Parliament

Despite these setbacks, Smith remained active in public life. She transitioned into roles as a political commentator, appearing regularly on various media platforms. Additionally, she held prominent positions in the healthcare sector, serving as chair of several NHS trusts.

A New Chapter in Education

Now, with her appointment to a key role in the Department for Education, Smith is poised to make a significant impact in shaping the UK’s educational landscape. Her background as a former teacher and her previous experience as a Minister of State for Schools in 2005-2006 provide her with valuable insights into the sector.

Sector Reaction

David Hughes, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, says:

“It was good to have a very positive first meeting with Jacqui Smith today and give her my congratulations on being appointed to the best job in the Department for Education: the Minister for Skills, Further and Higher Education.

“It’s an exciting time for the sector with Labour’s plans for Skills England, apprenticeship levy reform, establishing the new technical excellence college programme, integrating HE and FE and launching the opportunity mission. Across all of these I offered AoC’s support to ensure that colleges can bring their expertise, energy and understanding to the reforms.

“I’d also like to thank Seema Malhotra for all of her engagement with us as shadow skills minister and offer my congratulations for her appointment in the Home Office.”

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