FE WEEK: Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to lead on FE, Skills and Apprenticeships – it’s official! Sector Response

Confirming that Gavin Williamson’s ‘skills brief’ includes Further Education, Skills and Apprenticeships, Tom Bewick said:

“The decision to put the skills brief directly inside Gavin Williamson’s portfolio is either a masterstroke that will ensure real clout at the cabinet table for the FE sector; or it is a crafty way of ensuring there will be little bandwidth available day-to-day to focus on the big issues the sector really cares about. Given how busy the education secretary has been historically, in terms of sorting out schools and universities, this move will potentially go down as a real cause for concern amongst many across the FE sector. 

“The Secretary of State will need to provide a clear direction to officials that he does not want all his time taken up by non-FE issues. Instead, he should get on top of the Augar Review, the Spending Review; the two major reviews of qualifications that his department is currently consulting on; and unblock the issues that are holding back the sustainable financing and quality assurance of apprenticeships. If he throws real energy and verve behind these matters, then I suspect the concerns out there about the deletion of the minister of state for skills post will start to dissipate.”

Click here to access the full sector response FE Week article.