Save our apprenticeships launch
Posted 29 September 2016
NOCN was at the inaugural event for the FE Week ‘Save Our Apprenticeships’ campaign at Parliament on 14 September.
The room was full to bursting with people from industry, employers, awarding organisations, colleges, training providers and representative organisations including AELP and the Learning and Work Institute.
FE Week Feat17
You can read the FE Week article on the event here.
The panel was hosted by Nick Linford of FE Week and LSECT with MPs on either side, including David Lammy MP, Gordon Marsden (Shadow Skills), Robert Halfon (Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships), later joined by various MPs including Catherine McKinnel and Neil Carmichael, the Chair of the Education Select Committee.
The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the negative impact of the Government’s proposed cuts to apprenticeship funding for the poorest in society, an issue that has united all parts of the FE and skills sector.
The new Minister Robert Halfon shook everybody’s hand as they arrived and he came across as passionate for social justice, committed to improving equality and social mobility and as someone who is both capable and knowledgeable.
The debate was heated and the arguments were strong, Mr Halfon defended the Government’s position in the face of a hostile audience, but his earnestness shone through as he said he would not have taken the role if he didn’t think it could deliver social justice and improve people’s lives.
There was a distinct impression that the proposed cuts came as a shock to him as they did to us and that someone had proposed the cuts without working through the implications or bringing this to the attention of Ministers.
The shadow minister challenged the Government’s policy and sought to hold it to account and to his credit Mr Halfon said he would look into the concerns raised and evidence presented by FE Week.
Save our Apprenticeships! is set to roll on as FE Week pushes for the cuts to be shelved. It has also been campaigning at the Labour Party Conference and will no doubt keep the heat up on the Government until it addresses our concerns and shows real support for the most disadvantaged people in society.