Education administration: transfer schemes

Part of Technical and Further Education Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:21 pm on 9th January 2017.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Department of Education) (Apprenticeships and Skills) 9:21 pm, 9th January 2017

My hon. Friend, whom I thank for his work on the Committee, is absolutely right. We introduced the apprenticeship levy to change behaviour and involve businesses in supporting apprenticeships, we have created the institute and the employer panels, and we are giving huge financial incentives to businesses, especially small businesses, to ensure that they hire apprentices.

The Bill also introduces an insolvency regime for the further education sector that will, in the unlikely event of a college insolvency, provide clear-cut protections for learners to minimise disruption to their studies as far as possible, while offering certainty to creditors. During oral evidence, we heard from representatives of the Association of Colleges, Collab and others, who supported the insolvency regime and the protections that it includes for learners. Although there were issues about which the banks had questions, many spoke in support of the clarity provided by the proposed measures. Santander told us that it was keen to lend more to the further education sector, and said:

“On the Bill and the proposed insolvency regime, we are actually supportive of the clarity that they provide.”––[Official Report, Technical and Further Education Public Bill Committee, 22 November 2016;
c. 38, Q41.]