My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. If we speak to anybody overseeing some of the big infrastructure projects under way at the moment, they will say their biggest problem is bridging the skills gap they face in delivering those infrastructure projects, so this is a very serious issue.
If the Conservative party, from the Prime Minister down, truly believes in the principle that education is a public good, it is baffling why provision for 16 to 19-year-olds is wholly unprotected and facing further massive reductions.
Let us look now in more detail at what is really happening on the ground and the potential impact of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review.