Robert Halfon, the new minister for apprenticeships and skills, has hired a new apprentice for his parliamentary office.
Mr Halfon announced on Twitter that he has just recruited his fourth apprentice, following an interview this morning.
The announcement comes just six days after Mr Halfon revealed that he was to take on the apprenticeships and skills brief vacated by Nick Boles.
The apprentice, called Owen, will be the fourth to work in Mr Halfon’s office since he became an MP in 2010. As well as hiring his own apprentices through Harlow College, in his constituency, Mr Halfon also helped to found the Parliamentary Academy. Through this scheme, set up by Westminster Kingsway College and the charity New Deal of the Mind (now known as the Creative Society), about 40 apprentices have been placed with the likes of Ed Miliband and culture minister Matthew Hancock.
'More MPs should hire apprentices'
At present, there are around six or seven MPs with their own apprentices; the project is expected to be relaunched later this year with the aim of driving the number up further.
On his website, Mr Halfon writes that his previous three apprentices have “all gone on to great success from continuing their education at university or moving straight into a job in the House of Lords”.
In this week's TES, FE editor Stephen Exley writes in his editorial that all MPs should hire their own apprentice. "The fact that barely one in 100 MPs have taken on their own apprentice is nothing short of scandalous," he says. "Increasing this number would not only give hundreds of young people who opt not to go to university a massive boost to their CV, but also keep politicians grounded in the communities they serve."
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