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Brexit and Skills

Brexit and Skills

16th January 2019

I'm extremely conscious that a great deal of the our output relating to Brexit has simply been to point out how much time it has been taking up in the parliamentary calendar. As the nation's eyes are drawn towards Westminster, it is important to assess the impact Brexit is likely to have on FE.

There has been plenty of discussion as to what Brexit could mean for HE, as we have written extensively about, but comparatively little discussion in relation to FE, which perhaps somewhat mirrors the under-prioritisation of FE in political discourse more generally. 

Ben Bradley MP, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment, speaking to the Education and Skills team at Policy Connect said:

“Brexit gives us an excellent opportunity to look afresh at how we approach education and skills policy in this country. FE colleges are doing a great job in equipping young people with the skills they need, and this will be increasingly important as we look to ensure workers have the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”

The Secretary of State has also tweeted about the 'imperative of Brexit' in relation to skills.Damien Hinds has been steadfast in his support for Theresa May, and has been vocal in backing her deal. Concern persists in the sector, however, that Brexit could serve as a major distraction to the department. A report in the Times claims that government policies are now being identified that could be shelved to free up resources for “no deal” planning. It lists T levels as one of the Tory manifesto commitments that is earmarked for possible “reprioritisation”. This is an undoubtedly turbulent time, and exactly what this could mean for the FE sector remains unclear.

Dom Trendall, Policy Manager, Policy Connect