Clause 6 - Functions of the Institute: oversight etc

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am ar 2 Rhagfyr 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 2:00, 2 Rhagfyr 2021

It is good to be back, as we cross the halfway point in Committee proceedings for the Bill. Clause 6 provides an important oversight duty for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. It will ensure the overall coherence of the system of technical education and training, and will help to ensure that we have the right balance of provision to meet the skills needs of the economy. That includes apprenticeships, technical qualifications and other types of technical education, and training across all 15 technical routes.

Those routes underpin the institute’s occupational maps. They are the groupings for occupations in relation to which apprenticeships and technical education might be approved by the institute. Routes include hospitality and catering, construction, creative and design. The clause places a duty on the institute to keep under review the technical education and training within its remit and, through that review, to consider the impact of its activity on the range and sufficiency of that technical education and training. That means that different types of technical education, such as apprenticeships and qualifications at different levels, will not be looked at in isolation.

The institute will consider whether there is anything further within its powers that should be done, or that should be done differently, to safeguard the coherence and sufficiency of the technical education and training in its remit. The institute may provide the Secretary of State for Education with reports on the range and availability of apprenticeships, qualifications and other technical education and training in the system, raising any matters that arise during its review.

In addition, the clause brings into the institute’s remit other technical education and training that supports entry to occupations that are published by the institute in its occupational maps. That will allow the institute to play a role where education and training links to employer-led standards but does not lead to a qualification—for example, traineeships and skills bootcamps. That role might include, for example, advising or publishing guidance to support alignment with employer-led standards.

Aligning that type of provision to standards, where it is appropriate to do so, will create a joined-up system. It will benefit learners by supporting progression into skilled jobs, as well as further technical training. The institute is best placed to have oversight of the system as a whole because it has oversight of the occupational maps that bring together the occupations for which technical education is appropriate. It guarantees that the employer voice is at the heart of our skills system.

Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Shadow Minister (Education)

We do not oppose clause 6. We tabled amendments on apprenticeships, but we are not opposed to the role of the institute in itself. It was an interesting debate, with some really valuable contributions from some of my colleagues. We also had another Conservative who enjoyed himself at a party, and another lesson about the importance of who we invite to our parties. It was very much in keeping with the debates of this week, but we do not oppose the clause.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 6 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.