Skills and apprenticeships are something I have been passionate about since my very first day as an MP. In fact, in my first speech in the House of Commons, I argued that we needed to change the way that we view apprenticeships so that they are held in the same regard as going to University. I strongly believe that we must transform the nature of vocational training and apprenticeships in our country to give young people the necessary skills and training to open up opportunities and jobs for their futures.

I have employed six Apprentices in my own office and will continue to do so. I am incredibly proud of the UK government and Department for Education record on this already – creating over 2 million new apprenticeships since 2010, abolishing employers’ National Insurance contributions for apprenticeships under 25, and introducing an Apprenticeship Levy so that the largest companies will support the training of our next generation.