City & Guilds Group Chief Executive Chris Jones responds to Queen's Speech

‘After so much political uncertainty, it’s good to have more clarity on the Government’s plans for the next two years. It’s particularly encouraging to see a commitment to seeking a balanced and sensible view around migration ahead of the UK leaving the EU.

‘With an ageing population and skills shortages in a number of critical industries, restricting access to skilled labour cannot be an option – particularly if we want the UK to remain competitive.

‘But we also can’t afford to be complacent. There’s still need a pressing need to boost the skills of the next generation and develop home-grown talent. Today’s commitment to technical education and the new Institutes of Technology is a step in the right direction - but this is only the tip of the iceberg.

‘With this parliament due to last for two years, skills development must not be side-lined by the Brexit negotiations. As we well know, skills are an essential investment in times of uncertainty.’

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As CEO, and as head of the Management Board, Chris' role is to set the strategic direction of the Group. He plays a prominent role in driving the national and international skills agenda – something he has personal experience in, as he followed the vocational education path himself. Since joining in 2008, he has led the City & Guilds Group through a period of significant growth, which has enabled further investment in the organisation.