Robert Halfon has been officially confirmed as the government’s new minister of state for apprenticeships and skills.
The confirmation comes three weeks after the minister announced on Twitter that his remit would cover the FE sector.
His responsibilities will include careers education and guidance in schools, apprenticeships (including arrangements for the introduction of the apprenticeship levy) and funding for post-16 provision, as well as further education colleges, sixth-form colleges and “local patterns of provision”, covering area reviews and city deals.
'My dream job'
In his first interview since becoming skills minister, Mr Halfon told TES last week that the role was his "dream job" in government. In 2010 Mr Halfon became the first MP to hire an apprentice, and he helped to create the Parliamentary Academy – the first apprentice school for the Palace of Westminster.
Mr Halfon also said he wanted to see the introduction of a national living wage for apprentices, and called for parity of esteem between university degrees and apprenticeships.
“My dream is that if someone says at a dinner that they’re doing an apprenticeship and another person says they’ve been to Oxbridge, that people will be more impressed by the apprentice than the person who goes to Oxbridge ,” Mr Halfon said.
“We need to explain why apprentices are important. It’s not just about economic productivity, which, of course, is central to the country because our productivity is not as high as it should be. It’s also a matter of social justice.”
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