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Q&A: Minister Gillian Keegan on Coronavirus Response
April 16, 2020

Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan has answered questions submitted to Tes by further education teachers and leaders amid the coronavirus crisis. 

She said the government was putting in place a range of measures to support apprenticeship providers and colleges, and was keeping a close eye on issues around access to technology for students.

Coronavirus: Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan has answered a range of questions from the FE sector

Many providers and colleges are effectively using digital technology, she said – including WhiteHat, which is offering networking socials and access to mental health support to apprentices, and HIT Training, which is providing interactive online classes with students using their own kitchens at home. 

She also said a redundancy support package for apprentices was in development, with more information to be published as soon as possible. 

Watch the TES video below:

Anne Milton Addresses Association of Colleges Spring Conference

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton speech at the Association of Colleges spring conference 23 May 2019 (Original scriptThe Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, may differ from delivered version)

I was appointed to this job on 12th June 2017 – so almost but not quite 2 years ago. For a minister these days it’s quite a long time – although the longest serving skills minister was Baroness Blackstone who was Minister for both FE and HE for 4 years (1997-2001).

To be honest before that I knew very little about FE, nothing about what an apprenticeship involved, what all the different qualifications were – it was only O Levels, CSEs and A Levels in my day – or what really went on in Colleges.

That lack of awareness of what FE does won’t be restricted to me. Many people, including some MPs, are unaware of the huge amount of activity that goes on in college campuses around the country, and do not understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available. 2 years – a brief period compared to how long many of you in this room have been involved in the FE sector. But in that time, it has been an enormous privilege to learn so much about the reach and impact of FE. A sector that changes people’s lives. A sector that never gives up on anyone. And a sector with multiple strands of business, that has never had the attention it deserved and does – so much – for so many.

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