Education Secretary, Department for Education
Businesses are in need of high skilled talent, today there are a large variety of opportunities for people to achieve those skills, making education more accessible to all.
Although I have now been a Member of Parliament for over a decade, my experience in business still helps to shape my work in government today.
Having founded YouGov 22 years ago and built it into the company we recognise it as today, I know just how much a lack of human potential can wreak havoc on a business’ well laid plans. We would not have become so successful had it not been for the very talented people we managed to employ.
Demand for high skilled talent
Businesses are now crying out for something to change, because they know as it stands, they will struggle to compete in the future without a pipeline of highly skilled employees. And they are willing to pay well for this talent.
Our economic strength will turn on our ability to nurture and utilise it. So too will our efforts to level up opportunity, because upskilling people gives them chances to create a better life and regenerate their regions.
We would not have become so successful had it not been for the very talented people we managed to employ.
Accessible training for all
Imagine that we have a system that responds to the skills needs of employers, and one where students can learn on the job as much as they can learn from books and online. Imagine this learning is open to everyone, no matter where in the country they are born or what stage of their career they are in. Imagine that you do not have to pay for access to this learning, but instead you get paid.
Fortunately, we do not have to imagine. We already have a name for this kind of learning – and have done for hundreds of years: apprenticeships.
A skills system revolution
- Since 2010 there have been well over five million apprenticeship starts. They are our proud flagship policy. So successful have they been that they are now at the forefront of our wider revolution to the skills system.
T Levels – the gold standard in technical education and soon to be as famous as A levels – are following in their footsteps, giving young people access to qualifications that have been developed with employers, colleges, schools and universities, and include at least nine weeks gaining experience in industry.
- These are just two of the multitude of changes we are making to become the high-skill, high-wage economy we need.
I am asking businesses to join me on this journey and unleash the unlimited potential of this country.