Alex Burghart appointed Minister for Skills - AoC responds

17 Sep 2021

Responding to the news that Alex Burghart MP has been appointed as Skills Minister, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said: 

“Over the last 18 months there has been a definite positive shift in the profile and respect for apprenticeships, colleges and skills within government and we would like to thank Gillian Keegan for her contribution to that. She worked hard for our sector and her many visits to colleges did not go unnoticed. I look forward to meeting with Alex Burghart as he takes on the skills brief and welcoming him to visit any of our great colleges.

This is a once in a generation moment for education and skills. For too long the system has been disjointed and based on unnecessary and unhelpful competition between providers across tertiary education. The expansion of Michelle Donelan’s role, working jointly with Alex Burghart across FE suggests a more coherent policy and political framework for tertiary education, mirroring the direction of travel in Wales and Scotland. This could be a great step forwards for stronger working between colleges, universities and apprenticeship providers to help learners and employers navigate a complex system.

For those that were wondering what was going to happen after the publication of the Post-18 review, the optimists among us, like me, will take this as a positive sign the government is serious about enacting many of its recommendations. 

As the Spending Review edges closer and the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill goes through Parliament, I look forward to working more closely with Michelle Donelan and building a strong relationship with Alex Burghart in the weeks and months to come.”

Details of the appointment are here.