UK Education Ministers Council communique: 17 June 2022

A joint communique from the UK Education Ministers Council on 17 June 2022.

Attendees and apologies

From the Scottish Government:

  • Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (chair)

From the UK government:

  • The Rt. Hon. Nadhim Zahawi MP, Secretary of State for Education

From the Welsh Government:

  • Jeremy Miles AS/MS, Minister for Education and Welsh language

Representing Northern Ireland:

  • Michelle McIlveen MLA, Minister for Education
  • Heather Cousins, Deputy Permanent Secretary to the Department for the Economy

Items and actions

Following the welcome from the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Peter Mathieson, the Chair opened the meeting by welcoming attendees to the second meeting of the UKEMC, an Education Interministerial Group. The main focus of the meeting was lifelong learning (in the context of skills), focusing on green skills as a case study for discussion. The Chair welcomed Professor David Reay, Executive Director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute as a presenter and facilitator of the discussion.

Professor David Reay presented an update on the work of the UK Climate Change Committee Workforce and Skills group and summarised the policy developments and challenges of each government. Ministers discussed these interim findings and the policy developments and challenges, considering in particular: delivering lifelong learning to fit in with changing employment patterns, success factors in encouraging upskilling and retraining and the role of employers.

Ministers also considered matters relating to student finance and qualifications and examinations in 2022. Ministers agreed on the importance of continued engagement based on a mutual respect of their governments' respective remits and devolution settlements, as education was fully devolved to the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It was agreed that the Welsh Government would host the next meeting.

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