Andrea Jenkyns MP: Options to advance are available to all school leavers

Last weekend, the England women’s football team made history, beating Germany to be crowned the European champions.

By Jane Chippindale
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 7:00 am

Andrea Jenkyns MP writes: Like countless people across Wakefield, including Tess from Stanley who captivated the hearts of many across the UK and encapsulated all that was great about this victory, I was full of pride in their achievement.

Since my last politically speaking column, I have had the honour of being appointed as the parliamentary under secretary of state for skills, further and higher education within the Department for Education.

In this remit, I will be assisting the government with its response to both the GCSE and A-Level results days later this month.

ADVANCEMENT: Options are available regardless of your skills

These days are some of the most momentous in young people’s lives, helping to shape the paths available to them in terms of both their future education and careers.

In this role, I have seen the benefits of a wide variety of options that have been made available to people to ensure that, regardless of what option they would like to undertake, there is a route available for them.

In addition to the traditional university route that most would undertake, the government has also helped to promote apprenticeships, introduced T Levels and even created skills bootcamps, where people can undertake courses of up to 16 weeks on a variety of topics, including artificial intelligence, HGV driving and construction.

In short, regardless of your passion and skills, there is an option available to you to further advance.

Education was a matter of great significance to me when I was deciding who to back to be the next Conservative leader.

However, having assessed the candidates on this and a variety of other issues, it was clear to me that Liz Truss had the most coherent and clear views, and the experience required to make these a reality.

Liz cares passionately about education.

When she was a minister in the Department for Education, she undertook a visit to Outwood Grange Academy with myself, and I saw firsthand her belief in the idea that education is one of the great tools for social mobility and advancement of life chances.

Her local links are well known, having been raised and attended school in Leeds.

It is also clear to me that Liz continues to have a great deal of admiration for ‘God’s Own Country’ and the people of Yorkshire.

I also believe that Liz is the more qualified of the candidates for the role of prime minister.

She has served as a minister for nearly a decade, and in Cabinet since 2014.

She has held a variety of roles during this time, from DEFRA to Justice, and the Treasury to the Foreign Office.

She has been faced with numerous challenges throughout her time in office, from negotiating trade deals to creating jobs and opportunities for people throughout the UK, to handling the Ukraine War, and dealing with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In short, I believe that Liz has demonstrated that she has the skills, experience and talent required for the role of prime minister in September.