Technical and Further Education Act becomes law

The Technical and Further Education Act 2017, as it is now known, allows for the creation of a new insolvency regime for colleges and the expansion of the remit of the Institute for Apprenticeships

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The Technical and Further Education Bill has been given royal assent and is now law.

The Technical and Further Education Act, which was signed by the Queen yesterday ahead of Parliament's dissolution on 3 May, completed its journey through Parliament on Tuesday in the House of Lords.

Schools minister Lord Nash  said that the act would “ensure that technical education in our country provides everyone with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed and gain skilled employment on a long-term basis”.

The act allows for the creation of a new insolvency regime for colleges and the expansion of the remit of the Institute for Apprenticeships to give it a greater role in overseeing a new structure for post-16 education in line with the Skills Plan. The Act will also ensure that colleges and local authorities share data, following the devolution of adult skills funding.

Last week, the government blocked an amendment by the House of Lords to entitle families of apprentices to financial support. Robert Halfon, minister for apprenticeships and skills, who was present in the House of Lords today, told MPs that an apprenticeship was “a job”, and that the proposals would have cost the government more than £200 million a year.

The amendment was eventually defeated in the House of Commons by 298 votes to 182. 

Govt blocks move to give child benefit to apprentices.Even in the last weeks of parliament Tories remain nasty partyhttps://t.co/byRgsi6bIP

— Angela Rayner MP (@AngelaRayner) April 19, 2017

'A world-class technical education system'

Speaking to members of the House of Lords on Tuesday, Lord Nash said: "This [Act] is integral to the government’s ambitious reforms for creating a world-class technical education system. These reforms will help to ensure that technical education in our country provides everyone with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed and gain skilled employment on a long-term basis, and at the same time that they will serve the needs of our economy and reduce our skills gap."

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