Minister of State for Skills

Nick Boles MP


Nick Boles MP was appointed as Minister of State jointly for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education on 15 July 2014. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford in May 2010 and re-elected in May 2015.


Nick went to school at Winchester College before going on to study politics, philosophy and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford. He went on to do a Masters in public policy at Harvard University in the US after winning a Kennedy Scholarship.

Political career

Nick was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning in September 2012.

In November 2010, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nick Gibb MP, the Minister of State for Schools. In 2007, he was appointed as Head of David Cameron’s Implementation Team, which drew up the Conservative Party’s detailed plans for government. He was elected to Westminster Council in 1998 and became Chairman of Housing. He was chairman of the Housing Committee from 1999 to 2001, before stepping down in 2002.

Nick is also the founder, and a former director, of Policy Exchange, a centre right policy research institute.

Career outside politics

Nick spent the first 10 years of his career in business. He worked as a merchant banker for a few years in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe, helping state owned industries prepare for private ownership. He and a friend later formed a small group of companies supplying the DIY industry.

Minister of State for Skills

The minister is responsible for skills. This role is shared between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE).

Joint BIS and DfE Responsibilities include:

  • further education - staffing, governance and accountability
  • localism in skills
  • pre-employment and basic skills
  • vocational qualifications
  • apprenticeships and traineeships
  • National Colleges
  • careers advice and guidance
  • Skills Funding Agency
  • employer ownership of skills

BIS responsibilities:

  • construction and rail business sectors
  • trade union and employment law
  • consumer and competition policy

DfE responsibilities:

  • raising the participation age (the age of compulsory participation in education or training until at least 18)
  • international education

From July 2014 to May 2015 this role included responsibility for Equalities. Before July 2014 this role was covered by the Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise.

Previous roles in government

  1. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Planning

    • 2012 to 2014


  1. Young people
  2. Further education and training


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