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.”

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:


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  1. In relation to the Skills Minister going then I have three things
    1 She has not fought the corner on Apprenticeship Bands ( I mean £9,000 for a Butcher and £3,000 for a Care worker) letting the IATE do what they want without saying a word.
    2 She should have been looking at items like the 20% off the job training I am not saying it is not a good thing but 20% is to much for employers and learners plus more work monitoring for providers so again no thought for the industry.
    3 My last thought is if she care as much as she says then she should stay and fight the corner from inside but no she is walking away sorry that is not a leader that is a person in it for their own agenda.

  2. David Priestly

    Anne has presided over an era of declining apprenticeship numbers; a sector that is frightened to take risks in case the FE enforcer takes hold; A financial meltdown; leaders who are scared to say anything for fear of reprisal; and her comment of ‘your my people’ at AOC 2018 on reflection is shallow.

    The first insolvency on the back of a regime brought in by her, because by default the ESFA know colleges will run out of money. College leaders want to do a good job, they need the head space to do this rather than watching their back for the next audit from the ESFA’s 350 auditors.

  3. Deara O Hara

    A torturous reign comes to an end. Overseeing some of the biggest miscalculations, errors and missed targets – AM will be remember for setting impossible goals, missing targets repeatedly and creating a culture of fear and dread in further education and apprenticeships. I wonder how her clique of accountants and troubleshooters will fare now she has gone? Once they’ve all spent their unbelievable bonuses and rewards for delivery nothing but funding cuts and pain that is. She leaves a mess – and quite frankly one that is now worse than when she took over. So long and thanks for nothing AM.