IT is noteworthy that Cabinet Minister Gavin Williamson recognises the importance of the links being forged by major manufacturers and schools in this region.
Born in Scarborough before going to university in Bradford, he is just the second Education Secretary – after Rotherham’s Justine Greening – to have attended a comprehensive school.
And because he appreciates, more than most, the value of apprenticeships and technical education in a county proud of its industrial links, his endorsement of the work being undertaken by firms like Boeing, McLaren, Rolls-Royce and many others bodes well.
Their involvement is changing the dynamics of the education debate and providing opportunities for those young people who are less academically-inclined than others – it is not just about university degrees, A-levels and GCSE results.
But this must not preclude Mr Williamson from confronting the financial difficulties facing many of this region’s schools, and LEAs, as part of the wider skills agenda.
After all, the successes that continue to be achieved by students here come in spite of the Government declining to provide Yorkshire’s schools with the level of funding which was previously made available for London when academic attainment in the capital lagged behind the rest of the country.
And if Mr Williamson is impressed by what is being achieved now, he should consider what could be possible if schools, colleges and universities in Yorkshire were fully funded – a key demand of the Power Up The North campaign. Over to you, Minister.