Knight oversees next step in West Midlands’ skills devolution

Julian Knight MP has welcomed the latest step forwards in the Government’s plans to devolve substantial new powers over skills development to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

On Monday 15th October he was one of the MPs selected to sit on the special parliamentary committee convened to consider the Draft West Midlands Combined Authority (Adult Education Functions) Order 2018.

In the words of Anne Milton, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, this will “provide for the transfer of certain adult education functions and associated adult education budgets”, giving local representatives more scope to create policy tailored to the needs of our region.

Julian is delighted that Solihull will soon have the power to ensure that local residents of every age have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

He has been a long-standing the supporter of the Government’s push to overhaul vocational education, and in particular of the new ‘T Level’ which aims to create a gold-standard, skills-based, and industry-focused alternative to the traditional, academic A Level.

Combined authorities such as the WMCA will have a key role to play in implementing the T Level, for example by helping schools and colleges forge strong links with employers to provide high-quality industrial placements, and Julian is pleased that they will soon be taking up responsibility for adult learning too.

Commenting on the news, Julian said:

“We’re very lucky to have so many fantastic schools in Solihull, and I’m delighted that locally-elected representatives will soon have the ability to ensure that every local resident can access the education they deserve.

“This move illustrates the hugely important role that the Combined Authority will have to play in delivering education policy in our region, and I look forward to working closely with Mayor Andy Street to ensure that these new powers work for Solihull and the entire West Midlands.”