157 Group comments on the government reshuffle
5th September 2012
The 157 Group comments on the government reshuffle
The 157 Group is sorry to see the departure of John Hayes MP as minister of state for further education and skills, but welcomes Matthew Hancock MP as joint parliamentary undersecretary at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE).
Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group, said, "John Hayes has been one of our most committed, poetic and passionate ministers. Not only has he fought hard for FE, he has also sought to understand us and devoted himself to raising the esteem and status of FE with heartfelt commitment. He worked very hard to raise the profile of FE and to give it the kudos, resources and position it deserves. He acknowledged the contribution FE makes to both economic growth and social mobility. His unique style, warmth and passion were immensely popular.
"Matthew Hancock has a hard act to follow in many ways, but we look forward to working with him. I am sure that his background as an economist will lead him to ask some difficult questions of the sector, but they may be ones that need asking and which challenge us to raise our game even further. He has questioned the wisdom of the current funding regime, and we will welcome any further moves he wishes to make towards simplification and deregulation, in many arenas."
Commenting on changes within the Department for Education, Marilyn Hawkins, chair of the 157 Group, said, "We have worked closely with David Laws for some time, as he has been developing an understanding of the issues facing unemployed people needing to return to learning. He has shown a level of insight and understanding that is sound both economically and socially, and we hope he will bring those values to his new role. We look forward to working with both departments in the coming months and years."