MP for Berwick, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, highlighted the efforts of Northumberland College during a debate on further education last week.
The Tory took part took part in a House of Commons debate on colleges in the North East, which was secured by Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, and was answered by the Government’s Further Education Minister, Nick Boles.
Mrs Trevelyan highlighted the fantastic work done by colleges in the region, in particular, Northumberland College – the only one in the county – and stressed their importance given the geography of the county.
She said: “Since our Labour county council stopped funding post-16 transport some years ago, the college has had to pick up the bill so that no student is lost.
“It is vital that there is stronger careers advice in our high schools and that the sixth forms and colleges work together.”
Responding to the post-16 criticism, Scott Dickinson, from Northumberland County Council’s Labour administration, said: “It’s a typical Tory Government trick to try to turn its own cuts to the council’s finances back on the council.
“In this case, the MP must have been aware that the Government passported the money for post-16 transport directly to the colleges.
“If she has an issue with the provision of post-16 transport, she should take it up with the colleges and she should apologise to her residents for the £44million that has been cut from the council’s budget this year alone”.
During the debate, Mrs Trevelyan also stressed the importance of understanding the funding framework available for small businesses who wish to take on apprentices.
She said: “On apprenticeships, I, like the hon. Member for Hartlepool, would like the Minister to clarify how SMEs, which are the lifeblood of Northumberland – we do not have any large companies and every company is an SME – will access levy funding to help them take on apprentices.”
Mr Boles told Mrs Trevelyan that he will visit Northumberland College in the coming months following her invitation.