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

  • MPs recently debated the future of further education in which they were a number of references to UTCs. One MP, Michelle Donelan (Chippenham) (Con) made the point that “the best way to reform further education is to bring together local businesses, further education colleges and universities, and enable them to shape curriculums to the needs of local economies. University technical colleges make that leap, and we need more of them.”
    See the Hansard link for the full to read the full debate
  • 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

House of Lords' News

  • During a debate on the Enterprise Bill (Monday, October 12, 2105) Lord Baker spoke of the need to ‘create new pathways to success.’ He said: “We have to get it across to many young people that an apprenticeship is not a second-class pathway to success. It can, in fact, be infinitely better than a university degree, because the English education system is now cursed by only one target: three A-levels and a university. That has resulted in a very large increase in graduate unemployment at the moment.”
    See Hansard link for details of the full debate
  • 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