Improving Education Standards

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 2:05 pm on 29th November 2018.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet 2:05 pm, 29th November 2018

I certainly agree with my hon. Friend that the further education sector is crucial, as we have already heard in the debate, and we need to make sure that it has the resources it needs. I am sure the Minister will have taken on board the points that he has made, and I hope she will respond to them in her concluding remarks.

My hon. Friend is right that further education colleges, working alongside employers, are playing an important role in the delivery of apprenticeships, which is another reason why it is an important sector. I will close by saying a few words about apprenticeships, because they are so crucial in giving young people the skills they need to get on in life. About 3 million have been delivered since 2010, and we need to keep up that record in the future.

There is general acknowledgment that the apprenticeship levy has had some teething problems, and I very much hope that the changes announced in the recent Budget will help to remedy them and give more young people the chance to participate in an apprenticeship. However, apprenticeships have been a real success story. They have become longer and better, and they include more off-the-job training to complement the learning that takes place in the workplace; hence the role for the further education sector that my hon. Friend has just highlighted.