The Harlow MP Robert Halfon has this morning been appointed as a Minister of State at the Department for Education.
Individual briefs have not been confirmed, but it is highly likely Mr Halfon will be responsible for further education, skills and apprenticeships.
Mr Halfon moves from being Minister without Portfolio (attending Cabinet) to an expanded Department for Education which includes FE and HE, with Justine Greening as Secretary of State at the helm.
FE Week interviewed Mr Halfon for a profile in 2011 owing to his interest in apprenticeships, which you can read here.
Halfon set up a new parliamentary apprentice programme with the charity New Deal of The Mind Known as the “school of apprentices” which offers 16- to 19-year-olds the chance to spend up to three days a week working in Westminster, along with two days working towards a level 3 apprenticeship (equivalent to A-level) in business administration.
In 2013 he was presented with a Politician of the Year award from Avanta, a large employment and training provider, for his work promoting the apprenticeship scheme.
Halfon was born with Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebal Palsy, which affects the lower extremities – usually the legs, hips and pelvis.
His Wikipidia entry says he “was educated at Highgate School, an independent school in London. He attended the University of Exeter, where he read for a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics before a Master of Arts in Russian and East European politics.”
It has also been confirmed that Nick Gibb will stay on at the DfE, likely to be keeping the schools brief.