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Volume 639: debated on Tuesday 17 April 2018

12. What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that people have high-tech skills to increase productivity. (904785)

The Government are working across Departments to help to prepare businesses and working people to seize the opportunities that technology will bring. At the Budget we announced, among other measures, a trebling of fully qualified computer science teachers, the creation of a T-level in digital skills and the retraining partnership that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor has spoken about.

My hon. Friend makes an important point. We are trying to roll out our changes in apprenticeships, T-levels and other matters as quickly as possible across the country. We commissioned the Juergen Maier “Made Smarter” review to increase the adoption of digital technology in businesses—particularly small and medium-sized enterprises—and we will follow up on that in the months to come.

The circular economy has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country. What discussions has the Minister had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about how we can maximise these opportunities?

The hon. Lady raises an important point. We are working closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced a call for evidence on single-use plastics in the spring statement. We intend to make proposals in due course.