The following is an extract from Work and Pensions questions on 13 December 2021.
A free university-level education is a monumental benefit of living in Scotland. What discussions has the Secretary of State had with her colleagues in the Department for Education about the benefits of making higher levels of education accessible and the impact that would have on the employability of young people?
I am conscious that the hon. Lady thinks that just because there is a free course, those people who are most disadvantaged in her country will take advantage of it. In fact, that has not been the case; we see far more people in England from less privileged backgrounds getting into university and benefiting from that. It is important that we have a balanced approach, recognising the importance of level 3, 4 and 5 apprenticeships in particular and the fact that, once they have graduated, those people will be better off financially, except compared with those in Russell Group universities, within 10 years.
[Official Report, 13 December 2021, Vol. 705, c. 778.]
Letter of correction from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions:
Errors have been identified in my response to the hon. Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Margaret Ferrier).
The correct information should have been:
It is important that we have a balanced approach, recognising the importance of level 4 and 5 apprenticeships in particular and the fact that, once they have graduated, those people will be in a similar position financially to those who have graduated from university within five years.