Richard Harrington, apprenticeship adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, has stepped down from his role in order to resettle Syrian refugees in the UK.
Coordinating government response
Cameron made the announcement while visiting a refugee camp in in Lebanon, close to the Syrian border, this morning.
Harrington has been made responsible for helping resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the United Kingdom. The Watford MP will also be in charge of coordinating government support to Syrian refugees in the region. Earlier this month, Cameron announced that he would only allow 20,000 refugees into the country between now and 2020.
The former apprenticeships minister will now report to home secretary Theresa May in a dual capacity, having been appointed as chairman of the ministerial group on Syrian refugees and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
‘Apprenticeships is a real passion of mine’
Harrington’s new appointment will be a bitter pill to swallow for Cameron where apprenticeships are concerned. In July, Harrington was appointed as the PM’s apprenticeship adviser, with the remit to aid the government as it attempts to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.
In an interview with the Watford Observer, Harrington spoke of his desire to help Cameron improve the apprenticeship sector.
‘‘The Prime Minister knows delivering more apprenticeships is a real passion of mine. They not only give young people a real opportunity in life, the chance to gain a qualification, learn real skills and earn money at the same time — but they have also consistently proven their worth to businesses.’’
Harrington served as joint chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board (ADB), alongside David Meller, chair of the National Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network (NAAN).
In his first term as MP for Watford, Harrington created the Watford Apprenticeship programme. As of yet, a replacement for Harrington has yet to be found.