Williamson vows to 'super-charge further education'

Apprenticeships and FE are 'just as valuable as university education', education secretary tells Conservative conference

Stephen Exley

Williamson vows to 'super-charge further education'

Gavin Williamson has vowed to “super-charge further education” over the next decade.

The education secretary told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today that his aim was to “overtake Germany in the opportunities we offer to those studying technical routes by 2029”.

Mr Williamson also used his speech to announce £120 million in funding to create eight new institutes of technology.

Read more: Revealed: The first 12 Institutes of Technology

More news: Hinds: New technical qualifications needed

Background: Colleges to play 'major' role in Institutes of Technology

Mr Williamson told the conference that “governments of all colours have talked about technical and vocational education”, but “deeds, in truth, have rarely matched the words”.

He continued: “That’s why I promise to give my all to make technical and vocational education the first choice for anybody with the aptitude, desire and interest to pursue it. Apprenticeships, technical and vocational education are just as valuable as university education and they are just as important to our economy. 

“So, today, I am setting a new ambition: to super-charge further education over the next decade with an aim to overtake Germany in the opportunities we offer to those studying technical routes by 2029.”

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Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley is a freelance writer, director of external affairs at Villiers Park Educational Trust and former FE editor at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @stephenexley

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