Yesterday we brought you the news that Harlow MP, Robert Halfon, had been appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Education, but it was unclear as to his precise responsibilities. This has been clarified today with a tweet from Mr Halfon which read, “Delighted to have been given brief of Minister of State for Apprentices & Skills by SoS @JustineGreening at@educationgovuk”.
Mr Halfon takes on the role following the resignation of Nick Boles, who was the Skills Minister supporting Michael Gove. With Theresa May making several changes to the department, Mr Boles resigned and so Mr Halfon will now be responsible for apprenticeships and skills.
The Harlow MP has a proven track record in supporting apprenticeships, from being the first MP to hire an apprentice in his office in 2010, to creating the National Apprentice Card, and launching the Parliamentary Academy, the first apprentice school for the Palace of Westminster, which allows 16-19 year olds to spend three days a week in Westminster in conjunction with two days working towards their Level 3 qualification in business administration. In 2011, Mr Halfon also spoke up regarding supporting those with learning difficulties and special needs to enter the world of apprenticeships. When interviewed in 2011, he commented, “If you look at the statistics of young delinquents and criminals and so on…most of them have dyslexia or reading problems. I think it’s criminal when people leave school unable to read. Whoever’s responsible for that should be shot really.”
The appointment has been welcomed by many in the education and training sector, including Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers. Mr Dawe commented that with the confirmation of Mr Halfon in the role, Downing Street will still hold the apprenticeship programme as a priority and stick to the current timetable to implement the apprenticeship levy in 2017.
If you have any questions regarding hiring or becoming an apprentice, you can contact the Aspire Training Team on 01202 551553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Aspire Training Team work with employers and young people across the South to place apprentices in childcare, business administration and health & social care apprenticeships.