After all, investors and innovators will have even more reason to be located here if they know that they can employ a talented workforce with the requisite skills required by today’s employers.
This is highlighted by new research by the Centre for Progressive Policy which reveals the extent to which some parts of the North are being held back by chronic skills shortages in areas where significant potential exists. Coming just days after Sir Kevan Collins, the Government’s education recovery commissioner, took Boris Johnson to task after it emerged that 200,000 pupils will move from primary to secondary school without basic literacy skills, it will take more than a policy speech by the PM this month to address this.
He needs to recognise that the post of Education Secretary is one of the most important in the Cabinet – even more so as schools and students alike catch up with a year of lost learning – and treat this sphere of policy as a national priority rather than an after-thought.
Unlike Mr Johnson, who was the recipient of a world-class education at Eton, and Oxford University, many youngsters here are being held back by the Government’s failure to provide the levels of investment in the North’s schools that was made available to London in the early 2000s. And, regrettably, this will persist until the PM seizes the initiative and finally puts education at the heart of his still-to-be-defined ‘levelling- up’ policy.
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