The Government have invested £165 million to help providers to prepare for and deliver industry placements, building capacity in their relationships with employers. We have invested nearly £7 million so far in direct support for employers, and we are also exploring what short-term funded support may be appropriate to enable employers to offer placements.
I welcome the Government’s plan for jobs, which rightly prioritises technical education. Does the Education Secretary agree that investing in further education and T-levels in places such as the High Peak is vital for our economic recovery, for improving skills and training, and for increasing opportunity, helping local people of all ages and backgrounds into good-quality jobs?
I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. It is so vital that we see the roll-out of T-levels. These qualifications have been designed hand in glove with employers to make sure that they are delivering not only for students, but for the employers themselves. As we roll out our skills accelerators across the country, we are putting in £65 million-worth of further investment to ensure that we start to link up jobs, skills and young people, to ensure that we are getting the workforce right for the future.
Each T-level comes with a 45-day placement in industry, which is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get some real-life experience of their chosen sector. However, owing to competing pressures on business at the moment, some businesses are reluctant to commit to these qualifications, so will my right hon. Friend meet me and the principal of Hopwood Hall College to discuss how we ensure that young people can access these qualifications and that they turn out to be the success that they clearly should be?
I would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend and the principal of Hopwood Hall College to discuss that. It is incredibly important to ensure that we get this right and that it works, and for T-levels such an important element of that is the industrial placements that those young people will be able to benefit from. I think that there is agreement on both sides of the House on the importance of getting this right, and I very much hope that we can continue to build on the original consensus about the vital role that T-levels can play in ensuring that our young people have the right level of technical skills to meet our future economic needs.