Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has been promoted to the Labour front bench in new leader Keir Starmer’s first shadow Ministerial team. Toby has been appointed as Shadow Apprenticeships and lifelong learning Minister in the Shadow Education team.
Toby said, “I am delighted to be appointed to the shadow education team and very pleased to be given a role focussing on apprenticeships, skills and further education. I have worked very closely with Chesterfield College and private apprenticeship providers since I became an MP, as well as doing all I can to champion and improve the standard of apprenticeships and ensure that we have vibrant Further Education offer in Chesterfield. I’m looking forward to taking my interest and passion for this sector into my new role.”
Former candidate for the leadership, Rebecca Long-Bailey has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Toby joins her team with Margaret Greenwood, Tulip Siddiq and Emma Hardy.
Toby will be shadowing the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships & Skills whose responsibilities include:
- joint responsibility for post-16 education strategy
- technical education and skills including T Levels and qualifications review
- apprenticeships including traineeships
- further education workforce
- further education provider market including quality and improvement and further education efficiency
- adult education, including the National Retraining Scheme and basic skills
- Institutes of Technology and National Colleges
- reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training
- careers education, information and guidance
Toby added, “It’s job with a big remit and I am looking forward to the challenge. Keir has picked a very strong front bench and a skilled and experienced shadow education team. The coronavirus pandemic presents a particular set of challenges for the delivery of apprenticeships and the FE sector. We should be proud of the work being putting in my institutions like Chesterfield College to keep students’ education on track. I’ll be arranging telephone meetings with colleges and independent further education providers immediately to see what further support they need during this crisis.”