Budget 2017 analysis: the vital role of education and skills.

Budget 2017 analysis: the vital role of education and skills 

Simon Greenhalgh, Public Affairs Manager and Gordon Hurst, Director of Policy, at LTE group give their analysis on today’s Budget.

Chancellor Philip Hammond today talked about his determination to have ‘an economy that works for everyone’. 

He started by saying the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) growth focus has been raised from 1.4% for 2017 to 2%. However, in a reminder of the Brexit uncertainty ahead, he said growth is forecast to slow to 1.6% in 2018. 

The Chancellor repeated the Government’s commitments to the Northern Powerhouse outlined in his Autumn Statement. But the Northern Powerhouse was only mentioned once as he introduced the ‘Midlands Engine Strategy’ and a greater devolution powers for the London mayor. 

Mr Hammond said ‘education reform has been at the heart of our agenda since 2010’. He said for the UK economy to compete we have to ‘link technical skills to jobs’. He repeated the Government’s target to have 3 million new apprentice starts by 2020. He added that there was a ‘historic problem’ in achieving a ‘parity of esteem’ for technical education. He said: “Today we are ending that for good with the introduction of T-levels.”

Summary of main points in Budget 2017:

Education 

  • Introduction of T (or Tech)-levels to raise status of technical education
  • 110 new free schools on top of existing 500, including maths schools 
  • Government White Paper to ask Universities and Private schools to sponsor new free schools
  • £216m over three years additional cash to repair and rebuild schools 

Skills

  • Maintenance loans for part time undergraduate and doctoral study 
  • 15 clear focused routes. When rolled out, it amounts to £500million per year once all routes are fully implemented 
  • 50% more teaching time for 16-19 year olds on tech courses, including three-month minimum work placement 
  • Maintenance loans for higher level technical courses, but only those offered by National Colleges and the new Institutes of Technology (IoTs)
  • £40m from DfE for pilots in ‘innovative approaches’ to Life Long Learning

Infrastructure

  • £90m for road pinch points in North 
  • £690m on a competitive basis across the country for further transport pinch point improvements

Devo

  • Repeated Autumn statement commitment to the Northern Powerhouse 
  • Greater devolution powers for the London mayor and Midlands Engine Strategy to be announced tomorrow
  • Additional funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

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