The Government's Productivity Plan

23rd September 2015

Edge has submitted evidence to a House of Commons inquiry into the Government's Productivity Plan. We focused on the vital contribution skills will make to boosting the nation's productivity.

Among other recommendations, we propose improved paths from school to work; the development of a new network of Polytechnic Colleges; and Swiss-inspired lines of sight from apprenticeships to high-level professional qualifications. 

Visit the Committee's web page for further details on the inquiry.

House of Commons Education Committee report on Apprenticeships and traineeships for 16 to 19 year-olds

10th March 2015

The Edge Foundation warmly welcomes the Education Committee's wise comments and sensible recommendations on apprenticeships for young people.

Read more

House of Commons' News

  • VQ Day enjoyed high profile recognition in the House of Commons thanks to a Westminster Hall debate led by Neil Carmichael MP (Conservative, Stroud). Mr Carmichael said: “Vocational Qualifications Day is a good thing to celebrate. It is about empowering people to do the things that they want to do and making sure that they have aspirations that they can achieve.” Responding to an ‘excellent’ debate, the Skills Minister, Nick Boles MP (Conservative, Grantham) said it had kicked off the deliberations in this five-year Parliament. “Technical and professional education has an important role to play in making our economy more productive and providing opportunities for all people in all parts of the country.”
    See Hansard link
  • Nicky Morgan has said the opening of Studio Schools and University Technical Colleges count among the government’s achievements. The Education Secretary said during oral questions that: “In this Parliament, the Government have established more than 4,200 academies, 255 free schools, 37 studio schools and 37 university technical colleges.”
    See Hansard link
  • MPs have discussed careers advice for 14 to 19 years olds in a Westminster Hall Adjournment Debate (held on 25 February 2015). A common theme was the need for young people to learn more about the professions and different vocational and training opportunities that are available, something that Edge calls the next Government to facilitate. In our election manifesto, we call on the next Government to “Introduce an entitlement to impartial face-to-face information, advice and guidance for all young people, as soon as resources permit.”
    See Hansard link
  • The House of Commons yesterday (4 February 2015) debated apprenticeships. Adrian Bailey MP, chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee cited Edge evidence in his speech to support an example of a ‘very bright apprentice who had been offered a university place at school, but was virtually ostracised when he told the school that he would take an apprenticeship.’ He added that ‘experience is reflected more widely. The Edge Foundation has said that 26% of those surveyed had been actively discouraged from becoming apprentices.'
    See Hansard link for details of the full debate

House of Lords' News

  • The House of Lords recently debated the government’s plans for expanding the apprenticeship programme for 16 to 18 year-olds.
    See Hansard link
  • The House of Lords has discussed alternative routes open to young people other than going to university. Edge's Chairman, Lord Baker, spoke in the debate about the role of UTCs, Career Colleges and apprenticeships.
    See Hansard link
  • Education minister Lord Nash had said revised guidance on careers advice and guidance clearly states that schools should act impartially and recognise that some students would be better suited to educational training beyond schools and that they should give other providers the opportunity to inform pupils about the offer. He was responding to a question asking whether the Government have any plans to change the current system of careers advice for young people in schools.
    See Handard link for the full debate
  • Introducing a debate on social mobility, Minister Lord Nash said, to compete in a global market ‘we need to see practical, technical and vocational training integrated and as rigorous as academic learning’.
    See Hansard link
  • Peers have debated the approach taken by Germany and Austria in promoting vocational education, and what lessons could be drawn for the United Kingdom and UK competitiveness. Baroness Neville-Rolfe said the German system produced ‘better educational outcomes and a larger, better pool of talent that can be apprenticed to German business, which is very actively involved.’ In response, the Minister, Lord Nash cited UTCs and studio schools ‘of which we have now approved almost 100, are modelled closely on the success of German technical schools, as are our higher apprenticeships.’
    See Hansard link