29 Sep 2021
Former universities minister Michelle Donelan has been named Minister of State for Further and Higher Education. The new appointment was confirmed last week in a joint message to the sector with Alex Burghart, a junior minister with the apprenticeships and skills brief.
Donelan and Burghart announced:
“As we are sure you will have seen, together we will be representing both higher and further education and we are truly honoured to take on these roles and to be able to work with you all. “
Donelan is the first minister to hold a joint further and higher education brief since Labour’s Bill Rammell, who served as minister for lifelong learning, further and higher education from 2007-8 under Gordon Brown. However, it is believed that Donelan is the first further and higher education minister to attend Cabinet.
In the message to the sector Donelan stated that:
“It has long been said that the skills system has been disjointed and confusing which ultimately can affect the experiences and opportunities available to young people and adults. By bringing together these two sectors we want to break down any barriers and work in sync to help encourage closer working between colleges, universities, employers and apprenticeship providers so that ultimately, everyone can gain the skills they need to get great jobs.”