I welcome my hon. Friend to his first Question Time, and I welcome the new Department, which I am sure that many will see as a DIUS ex machina. I fully support the moves towards a national qualification records system, but I urge him to consider the alternative, whereby instead of having a central Government database, we have a user-centred approach in which each person keeps their own qualifications on a secure site where they can be authenticated by a third party such as an employer and can include not only school and university qualifications but professional and private qualifications from this country and abroad. That has wide support in the industry. Surely it is better for each individual to have ownership of their own qualifications than just to set up a central Government database.
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