Part of Education – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 21st June 2021.

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Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 2:36 pm, 21st June 2021

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, and that is why I was really delighted to join him and our colleagues—our other Stoke MPs—to visit Stoke-on-Trent College. It was great that we were able to meet students who are on a wide variety of pathways and see the fantastic facilities that our investment has enabled at this brilliant college. There have been nearly 30,000 apprenticeship starts in the Stoke-on-Trent area since May 2010. I encourage learners and employers to take advantage of the support, including the incentive payment of £3,000, and I am sure that he will welcome the establishment of a new Home Office centre that will create more than 500 new roles over five years, with an apprenticeship-first policy for hiring at the entry grades. I agree that they are absolutely vital to the development and economic recovery in Stoke-on-Trent and beyond.