General Election 2015: Labour promise legislation to boost vocational education and apprenticeships within 100 days if elected

Education spokesman Tristram Hunt: 'Within 100 days you will have a Labour education Bill about vocational education, apprenticeships and training'

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Indy Politics

Labour will introduce legislation within 100 days of taking office to boost vocational education and apprenticeships, the party's education spokesman Tristram Hunt pledged yesterday.

An education Bill will be one of the first off the stocks if the party wins the General Election, he said at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' annual conference in Liverpool.

It will be jointly sponsored by the Department of Business and Department for Education. "We're moving away from this isolated vision of the DfE," he said,. "Within 100 days you will have a Labour education Bill about vocational education, apprenticeships and training."

Mr Hunt wants to see a vocational education system in the country which rivals germany - where students can choose between an academic or vocational education at 14 and each strand is considered to be of equal value.

He wants to introduce a technical Baccalaureate - for young people learning vocational skills, technical degrees which people can study for while they are earning and more two-year apprenticeships.

Meanwhile, he pedged his support controversial chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw whom he described as "the headteacher's headteacher".  "I think he has been a progressive force for good," he added. "I also believe he understands the need to evolve and change."

In his speech, he promised Labour would seek a radical reform of the education standards watchdog's approach to inspection by moving the focus from treating schools like "exam factories" to encouraging more innovation.

He also promised a "new partnership" with teachers to replace the denigration he said they had suffered under former Education Secretary Michael Gove's reign when opponents of his policies were described as "enemies of promise".