On Tuesday 1st November I led a debate in Parliament on apprenticeships funding cuts. Over the course of the last couple of months I have led a campaign against these cuts, resulting in the Government announcing a u-turn, and securing this debate enabled Members of Parliament to debate these cuts in Parliament for the first time.
The u-turn that the Government announced does not got far enough, and after a huge campaign by the sector and given the level of opposition in Parliament I am very disappointed that the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Robert Halfon MP failed to acknowledge or respond to the points that I raised in my speech during the debate on Tuesday.
I accused the Minister of trying to hoodwink Parliament by refusing to discuss the issue of cuts to frameworks, despite the fact that 99% of apprentice starts are on these frameworks. Frankly, the young people of this country deserve better than they are getting from the Minister.
The Department for Education are yet to even respond to the calculations that show that – even after the u-turn – apprenticeship funding will still face huge cuts, especially in places like Tottenham.
I will be keeping up the pressure on this Government to come clean about these cuts before it is too late. I will not stand by and let this Government destroy the life chances of young people in this country and will continue the fight.