During last week’s Cabinet reshuffle Chichester MP, Gillian Keegan, was appointed to the Department for Education as the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills. Gillian is currently the only degree-level apprentice in the House of Commons and been a key voice in education calling more high-quality apprenticeships to develop the skills the country needs.
Prior to her elevation to Government Gillian sat as the co-chair for the cross-party group on apprenticeship and was an MP Apprenticeships Ambassador. Gillian has driven the skills agenda forward in the Commons calling for greater access to retaining and upskilling opportunities for all ages.
After receiving the call Gillian said,
“I feel very privileged to be joining the Department for Education. Apprenticeships and lifelong skills training are areas I am passionate about. We must ensure everybody has the opportunity to develop the skills they need to make the most of their careers.”
“I am excited to get stuck into the new job and I am sure there will be lots to learn!”
This appointment has been welcomed by the FE sector, Further Education leaders have praised Keegan's first-hand experience and knowledge as a former degree apprentice herself.
Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said:
“It’s great news that Gillian with her first-hand experience and knowledge of apprenticeships has been appointed to the post. Her corporate background also helps her understand the levy issues very well and she knows the power of work-based learning."