Skills v Knowledge, or the balance between university education and vocational education.
The Tory head of the Education Committee has the right ideas, as seen in his exchanges with Nadhim Zahawi, the Secretary of State for education, during the debate on the Schools White Paper, Monday 28th March 2022 — Commons Chamber
The White Paper refers to a knowledge-rich curriculum. I am thoroughly in favour of that, but what about a skills-rich curriculum to sit alongside it? I see that the skills Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Alex Burghart), is paying close attention. Such a curriculum would prioritise skills including oracy and financial, technical and vocational education, reverse the huge decline in design and technology skills, and prepare students better for the world of work.
Higher Education Reform: Debate between Robert Halfon and Nadhim Zahawi, Thursday 24th February 2022 — Commons Chamber
I really welcome the extra £900 million investment. I urge the Secretary of State to allocate a significant proportion—perhaps £500 million—to degree apprenticeships, which would mean an extra 34,000 apprentices at higher level. That would solve the student finance problem, because students would earn while they learn and would meet not only their own skills needs, but those of the country. They would be almost guaranteed a job, because 90% get a job at the end. That is the way forward. I know that the Secretary of State wants a 10% target, but a target over the next 10 years for 50% of students to do degree apprenticeships would transform skills in our country and transform the lives of those students.