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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian welcomes Queen’s Speech

Julian welcomes Queen’s Speech

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Julian raises support for technical and vocational education with the Prime Minister

March 29, 2017

Today, Julian urged the Prime Minister to ensure that vocational and technical education enjoys equal status with academic education, so that young people can be prepared to take up skilled jobs when they leave school.

York has a range of institutions offering valuable vocational education and training, including York College, the National STEM Learning Centre and Askham Bryan College. Major local employers like Nestle also offer this directly through apprenticeship schemes.

There is increasing recognition that the UK needs a more skilled workforce to enable it to end the productivity gap between Britain and other major economies, to allow for growth in wages and living standards. Ensuring school leavers have a proper choice between high quality vocational education options and academic routes is essential to ensuring their future employability, and extending life chances for all so more people can get skilled, secure jobs.

At Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, Julian asked:

“Improving vocational and technical education is vital to closing our productivity gap. So can the Prime Minister assure me that vocational education will enjoy equal status with academic education, so that as we leave the EU our young people can be equipped to build the high-skilled economy of the future?”

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, responded: “My honourable friend has raised a very important issue. It is essential for young people that we do give vocational and technical education the right esteem and the right focus because it is essential in addressing our productivity gap. We do want to deliver a world-leading technical education system that can create genuine options for young people that are equal in esteem, two options for young people equal in esteem….and in the Budget….the Chancellor announced a significant package of investment, to implement the most ambitious post-16 reforms since the introduction of A-levels 70 years ago. We’re going to be investing an extra half a billion pounds a year in England’s technical education system, and introducing maintenance loans to support those studying high-level technical qualifications, at prestigious institutes of technology, and national colleges.”

Following the Prime Minister’s answer, Julian said: “Although there is a huge amount to be done to improve UK vocational and technical education, I was encouraged by the Prime Minister’s view on the importance of establishing vocational education as the equal of academic education, and the commitment of new funding over the next few years.

Fantastic institutions in York are already working hard to give young people the education they will need to obtain skilled jobs and drive increases in productivity and living standards. Improving the skills of our workforce is all the more important as we leave the EU and seek new trade opportunities across the world, and I will be watching to see that our city gets its fair share of new funding for vocational education.”

To watch Julian’s question please click here