1 March 2021
MP Backs Lifetime Skills Agenda

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has backed the new lifelong skills agenda in Malvern.

Harriett Baldwin MP outside Malvern Hills College

And the MP has agreed to question the Department for Education about future funding streams to ensure that people of all ages are able to access courses to improve their range of skills.

Harriett hosted a summit with business leaders and education experts to discuss the current lifelong teaching provision for young people and adults.

The meeting follows the closure of the popular Malvern Hills College which has prompted a study into the demand and provision of courses and was also timed to coincide with a new Lifetime Skills Guarantee from the Government.

The MP listened to the views of employers who rely on well-skilled people to fill their jobs and the challenges faced by schools and colleges to deliver the right courses.

Harriett commented:

“I was surprised that the Education and Skills Funding Agency felt that a town the size of Malvern didn’t need a dedicated Further Education College and I called together the experts to hear their views.

“It was good to hear that apprenticeships are up 155 per cent over last year and that youth unemployment is low, but there are still many challenges for young people who don’t excel academically and access to new skills in mid-career transitions is also uneven.

“I’m going to ask some questions of the Government to see what we can do to stimulate the development of lifelong skills in Malvern and also see what the county council can do to help make travel easier to other colleges.

“There is also an education covenant on the Malvern Hills College site which could be a local base to offer courses and it has capacity to offer more courses to a wider group of people.

“I welcome the news that the county council has commissioned a professional report into post-16 provision in the Malvern area and I look forward to its conclusions.

“ I am grateful that local experts have taken the time to share their views so we can plan for a better future offering giving people of all ages the chance to enhance their skills as we look to compete better on the global stage.”