Philip Dunne raises concerns at financial pressures facing isolated further education colleges citing his local college which is the only location for sixth-form and technical training within a 20-mile radius.
My hon. Friend is exhibiting, if I may say so, an almost ministerial skill in handling interventions today. He was touching on geography. The FE college in my constituency is the only location for sixth-form and technical training within a 20-mile radius. Does he agree that if pressure is placed on isolated, rural FE colleges, we may well find ourselves in a situation in which no such provision is available in parts of the country, which would not be acceptable?
My right hon. Friend is absolutely correct. The crucial point, as he implies, is that, in effect, his local college, like so many of our colleges, has a monopoly. If things were to go badly wrong, who else would provide what it does? Who would provide those opportunities for young people? My hon. Friend the Member for York Outer (Julian Sturdy) was reaching for an intervention.