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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:14 pm on 23rd March 2011.

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Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Conservative, Watford 5:14 pm, 23rd March 2011

The hon. Lady and I were at university at broadly the same time, so we were very privileged. We could debate tuition fees for hours, but no matter what one’s arguments on that, the new regime has not changed the current situation and we are, thus, dealing with Labour’s policy on tuition fees at the moment. I would be happy to debate tuition fees with her on another occasion, but the real issue is that we have young people and older people who are unemployed, and we have vacancies in jobs that people will not go into. The Government’s efforts on work experience for young people—today’s announcement on that was tremendous—and on expanding the apprenticeships scheme are very important, as are the technical universities. I commend those efforts because we must have a work force who have the right skills. That is not solely about graduates; it is also about people who are leaving school and are doing apprenticeships and further education courses. What the Government are doing to help will change the availability of staff.