I am absolutely delighted to be taking up my new role. Our remit is extensive. There are, of course, challenges and opportunities for employers, schools, training providers and academies. We are not just a funding agency – our portfolio is also about supporting citizens, schools and businesses to make informed choices about apprenticeships, skills, learning, work and careers. If we can harness the power and capability of the sector, working with our partners, we can continue to make an impact on boosting economic growth while creating opportunities for social mobility.
We stand at a crucial moment in time. Seven months into the apprenticeship levy, which has brought about much change, the sector has quickly adapted. However, I am aware there are challenges. I am keen to work with the sector as a priority to ensure continued delivery and support as we implement the apprenticeship and devolution reform requirements ahead.
There is more work to be done on understanding the needs of our providers and employers, so they understand the investment opportunities the apprenticeship levy brings and more work to be done towards the national funding formula implementation for schools. All this encompassed by the need for a relentless focus on value for money for the taxpayer.
I have already been impressed at the work, achievements and commitments of the sector, including the ambition and pride in what continues to be delivered on a daily basis. I very much look forward to meeting and working with you all in the future.