New education minister Robert Halfon tipped for skills brief

17th July 2016 at 13:39
Robert Halfon skills minister
Robert Halfon, newly-appointed minister at the Department for Education, was the first MP to hire an apprentice

Robert Halfon has been apponted a minister in the Department for Education, and is expected to replace Nick Boles in the skills minister role.

The MP for the Essex constituency of Harlow was the first politician to hire an apprentice, in 2010. He then teamed up with Westminster Kingsway College and the charity New Deal of the Mind, in order to create the Parliamentary Academy, the first apprentice school for the Palace of Westminster.

Since then, a small but growing number of politicians have hired apprentices for their own offices. The Parliamentary Academy asks MPs to pay their apprentices the national minimum wage, thus opening up the opportunity to 16-24 year olds who cannot afford to work for free.

However, in 2011 Mr Halfon also voted in favour of scrapping the education maintenance allowance.

It has not yet been confirmed that Mr Halfon will be given responsibility for FE and skills. However, given his experience in the area, it seems a strong possibility.

Mr Halfon's voting record shows that he is also a social conservative. He has voted against equal rights for gay people, including same-sex marriage. He also voted in favour of raising university tuition fees.

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