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Post-16 Education and Training

Volume 690: debated on Monday 1 March 2021

As set out in the “Skills for Jobs” White Paper, we are implementing an ambitious reform programme that will revolutionise technical education in this country. The White Paper is focused on giving people the skills they need in a flexible way that suits them so that they can get great jobs in sectors that the economy needs, which will also boost this country’s productivity.

I welcome my hon. Friend’s answer. The proposals set out in the further education White Paper are extremely welcome. In Suffolk and Norfolk, the colleges, the chambers of commerce and the local enterprise partnership are keen to get on with putting these plans into practice so as to ensure both that there are exciting and well-paid jobs available locally for young people, and that our region is well placed to take advantage of the great opportunities in the energy, logistics and agritech sectors. I will be most grateful if my hon. Friend sets out the timetable and the criteria for selecting skills for jobs trailblazers, and if she can confirm that a bid from our region will be welcome.

I am delighted to hear that there is such enthusiasm in Suffolk and Norfolk for engaging with and helping to implement our flagship reforms. We will run an open process to select the trailblazing local areas in which the first local skills improvement plans will be developed. We will certainly welcome a bid from Suffolk and Norfolk, championed no doubt by my hon. Friends the Members for Waveney (Peter Aldous), and for Ipswich (Tom Hunt). Further information, including the criteria for selection, will be announced very shortly, so there is not long to wait.