Apprenticeships and skills minister Anne Milton has resigned from government.
She announced the move on Twitter ahead of the appointment of a new prime minister today, and cited her “grave concerns about leaving the EU without a deal” in her letter of resignation.
“Having abstained in the vote last week, today I have resigned from the government,” she tweeted just minutes after finishing up an appearance in front of the education select committee this morning.
“It has been an honour to serve on the Conservative frontbenches, my thanks to everyone I have had the pleasure of working alongside.”
Having abstained in the vote last week, today I have resigned from the Government. It has been an honour to serve on the Conservative frontbenches, my thanks to everyone I have had the pleasure of working alongside. pic.twitter.com/ELo1Y30YqC
— Anne Milton MP (@AnneMilton) July 23, 2019
Milton, the MP for Guildford, was appointed skills minister in June 2017 and has overseen the development of the apprenticeship reforms including the levy, T-levels, devolution of the adult education budget, and has been an avid champion for more funding in the FE sector.
She used her resignation letter to tell the outgoing prime minister Theresa May how those working in FE “transform people’s lives, often giving those they teach a second or third chance, and releasing the potential of so many including those with special needs”.
“Sadly, FE rarely gets the attention it deserves and I have hugely appreciated your attempts to shift this balance,” she said.
“My current role, and the work I have done on apprenticeships, has been equally rewarding.”
Milton continued: “Our reformed apprenticeships are the very best enabler of social mobility I have seen. Alongside this the first T-levels will be taught from 2020 and when fully ruolled out they will transform technical and vocational education for young people.
“I pay tribute to, and thank, the incredible and dedicated civil servants in the Department for Education and my private office staff whom I have worked alongside.”
Her replacement is expected to be revealed later this week. They will become the sixth different skills minister since 2010.
Before the skills minister brief, Milton served as public health minister, and was the first woman to serve as deputy chief whip.
Various tributes from the FE sector and even the opposition have been paid following her resignation:
I wish you all the best Anne and it was always engaging working with you to improve education. You always recognised and championed the need for more funding & focus on FE. https://t.co/Go2HwytFjc
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) July 23, 2019
Huge tribute to @AnneMilton for all her work on skills and apprenticeships and #FE. Especially that she kept her commitment to give evidence before @CommonsEd this morning just before she resigned. Thank you. https://t.co/z2JZsx6y4g
— Robert Halfon MP #WorkingHard4Harlow (@halfon4harlowMP) July 23, 2019
“The apprentices I have met are universally inspiring”, writes @AnneMilton. We agree, Anne, and thank you for all of the support that you have provided for #apprenticeships. You will be missed. https://t.co/S8y5pSPb8r
— AELP (@AELPUK) July 23, 2019
— CBI Education & Skills (@CBI_ES) July 23, 2019
A huge thank you to @AnneMilton for her fantastic support for our work – she has helped us champion #technical #education across the UK, ensuring even more young people can #GoFurtherFaster in their #careers. https://t.co/sVS2uLqvHv
— WorldSkills UK (@worldskillsuk) July 23, 2019
— SFCA (@SFCA_info) July 23, 2019