New Skills Minister welcomes open dialogue with CT Skills after meeting CEO Alex Ford

Friday, June 30 2017

The new Skills Minister Anne Milton has invited CT Skills to “contact me” and “knock on my door” to ensure that training and apprenticeship providers are getting due attention in government.

The personal welcome was made in response to a question by CT Skills’ CEO Alex Ford after she delivered her first major speech to the sector since her appointment on June 12.

CT Skills was delighted to be at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ annual conference, on June 26, where Ms Milton reassured the sector that her motivation in the role is “to make it work” rather than introducing “new, bright ideas”. 

She said her job was one “of delivery” and our CEO called on her for stability in the sector and an increased effort to raise the profiles of learning providers by the government.


Read the full exchange below:

ALEX FORD, CEO OF CT SKILLS: “You are about our third minister in 12 months and we have new ministers coming in with these new reforms, new ideas, but we end up feeling like we’re not especially important in the grand hierarchy of things.

“We’ve seen in the general election how passionate people are about health, education, welfare – and that’s what we do as a sector, but we also give you productivity.

“What I want to ask you is: what are you going to do to raise our [learning providers’] profile within the Department for Education, where we are seen as second class to colleges and universities?

“And what are you going to do to raise our profile with government in general to make sure it is really really focused on making sure that we can deliver high quality apprenticeships and have got the freedom and stability to do that?”


ANNE MILTON MP, APPRENTICESHIPS AND SKILLS MINISTER: “It is frustrating and it’s actually been quite unusual over the last seven years to have so many changes of ministers and for that I can only apologise, because certainly my intention is not to come in with any new bright ideas, my intention is to make it work, so for me this is a job of delivery.

“You mentioned health, education and welfare. It’s quite interesting, I was talking with a public health minister – as I say I spent all of my working life before going into politics in the NHS – and there is good evidence out there that suggests that you won’t need the public health interventions because better educated people have better health, so education is arguably at the core of it all.

“You must contact me, if you feel you that are being excluded or left behind or not given enough priority then let me know.

“I hope what I’ve said today will assure you that your profile will remain high, certainly as far as I’m concerned, within the department.

“I can only give you that reassurance, you will have to judge me in six months time and also knock at my door and say you’re not giving me a high enough profile in the work that we’re doing, so that’s an invitation to you.”


By Jarrad Johnson, PR & Communications Executive

If you are a member of the media and would like to speak to CT Skills about this story for further information or comment, please email or call Jarrad Johnson, Head of PR on 07779 411978.