Delivering world-beating technical education to make a success of Brexit

Yesterday the Prime Minister pledged to transform this country’s technical education system in order to ensure the economy has the skills it needs as we leave the EU – with a new ambition to rival the very best systems in the world.

My long term objective is to address the local Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills gap and inspire the next generation to look at STEM career options and dispel their misconceptions. We also have an impressive array of businesses across the county which highlights that Wiltshire is a hub in this sector.

In an increasingly competitive and international world, it’s vital that we ensure our children get the best skilled jobs and aren’t shut out of emerging industries. That has a direct benefit to families around the country and to the wider economy – because otherwise we risk holding back parts of the country reliant on skilled labour.

If elected on 8 June, Theresa May’s Conservatives will implement one of the biggest reforms to our technical education system in decades in order to close the skills gap. New ‘T-Levels’ will be brought in across fifteen routes, in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science, to replace the unwieldy current landscape of 13,000 existing technical qualifications. These new qualifications will be specifically designed with employers, so they meet the needs of businesses and the wider economy.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“With the right deal, Brexit represents an opportunity for a brighter future – and in order to help realise it, I want to revolutionise skills training in this country. For the first time, we will put technical excellence on a par with academic education.

“If elected on June 8th one of the first things my Government will do is to begin the work of introducing new T-levels for post-16 education. Those new qualifications will replace a confused picture of 13,000 existing technical courses with a better alternative, giving young people the skills they need to do the jobs of the future. We want to ensure when students qualify they will be genuinely ‘work-ready’ and able to make the most of the opportunities ahead.

“We will do all this because for Britain to succeed after Brexit, we need to make the most of every talent and ensure no person or community is left behind. We have a plan for Brexit and beyond – while Jeremy Corbyn only plans for a coalition of chaos that would risk our economic progress and the Brexit negotiations at risk.”

A Conservative government will also establish prestigious new Institutes of Technology in every major city in England, sponsored by leading employers and linked to local universities. These new Institutes will be given the same freedoms and privileges that make British universities great, including access to grant and research funding, loans and grants for technical students and the ability to gain Royal Charter status. They will provide sought-after skills for local, regional and national industry, driving economic growth and prosperity.

At the same time, the Conservatives will deliver on their commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships while driving up quality.