Conservative Party policies

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An overview of the post-16 education manifesto commitments from the Conservative Party.

Download the full Conservative Party manifesto 2015

Apprenticeships

  • Deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, funded by reductions to welfare and housing benefit
  • Continue to replace lower-level, classroom based further education courses with apprenticeships
  • Expand degree-level apprenticeships

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(128 votes. Average rating: 3.04 out of 10)
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Localism and devolution

  • Continue devolution settlements for Scotland and Wales as per the Smith Commission and St David Agreement, and implement the Stormont House Agreement in Northern Ireland
  • Deliver more bespoke Growth Deals with local councils and back Local Enterprise Partnerships to promote jobs and growth
  • Legislate to deliver the Greater Manchester devolution deal, and devolve further powers over skills spending and planning to the Mayor of London

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(87 votes. Average rating: 2.64 out of 10)
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Further education, skills and adult learning

  • Ensure that there is a University Technical College within reach of every city
  • Improve further education through the network of National Colleges, which will provide specialist higher-level vocational training in sectors critical to economic growth.
  • Publish more earnings and destination data for further education courses

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(190 votes. Average rating: 2.62 out of 10)
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Higher education

  • Maintain £9000 tuition fee in England
  • A REF style teaching inspectorate linked to funding for universities
  • Ensure that there is a University Technical College within reach of every city
  • Review highly trusted visa status and clamp down on ‘satellite campuses’ opened in London by universities located elsewhere in the UK
  • Expand degree-level apprenticeships
  • Postgraduate loan system for taught masters and PhD courses

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(98 votes. Average rating: 2.43 out of 10)
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Immigration

  • Review highly trusted visa status and clamp down on ‘satellite campuses’ opened in London by universities located elsewhere in the UK
  • Place more responsibility on visa sponsors, and introduce targeted sanctions for colleges that fail to ensure visa compliance
  • Require immigrants with only basic English to become more fluent over time, with new language tests for those seeking visa extension

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(170 votes. Average rating: 2.65 out of 10)
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Professional issues

  • Increase minimum wage to £8 by 2020
  • Ban exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts which stop people getting work elsewhere
  • Tighten strike rules so that decisions must be based on ballots in which at least half the workforce has voted. End the ban on using agency staff to cover striking workers and shorten the time limit for industrial action to take place after a ballot
  • Tax would start at £12,500 a year, instead of £10,500
  • Keep "triple lock" on state pensions so they rise by the highest of inflation, earnings or 2.5%

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(126 votes. Average rating: 3.10 out of 10)
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Public funding

  • Maintain £9000 tuition fee in England
  • Ring-fence apprenticeship budget
  • Abolish employers' National Insurance contributions on earnings up to the upper earnings limit for apprentices under the age of 25
  • A REF style teaching inspectorate linked to funding for universities

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(162 votes. Average rating: 2.22 out of 10)
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Research & development

  • Ring fence the science budget and invest £6.9billion in UK research infrastructure up to 2021
  • Create additional research and development hubs or ‘catapult centres’
  • Postgraduate loan system for taught masters and PhD courses (under 30 year olds able apply for £10,000)

Rate these policies:
(141 votes. Average rating: 3.40 out of 10)
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