Economic Outlook and Furlough Scheme Changes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 12:39 pm, 16th June 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. I am in awe of his ability, without notes, to recall exactly the same wording of his question when asked to give it a second time. That is magnificent. He was obviously an actor in a previous life.

Let me respond to the point my hon. Friend made. He is absolutely right about apprenticeships. He will know that, because he will know of all the work we are doing in Hereford to set up a new model in technology and engineering; a university combining higher education and further education specifically in order, in due course, to be able to extend to degree and degree apprenticeships. He will also know that the Budget—people have forgotten this—and the spending round before it have been very supportive of further education. That is a commitment of this Government. As he will know, the Education and Skills Funding Agency published guidance in this area, and the job retention scheme provides funding for businesses. We will continue to look closely at the issue he describes, and I thank him for his question.