I thank my hon. Friend for her answer. Does she agree that the changes made by Project 2000 in 1986 led to a large group of caring people being excluded from training to be nurses? If we are to recruit many more nurses, this approach should be rethought, with recruits once again being able to learn on the job, as they did prior to 1986. This would bring nurses’ education much more in line with the Government’s recognition that university is not for all children and fulfil our objective to have apprenticeships in all walks of life.
My hon. Friend makes an extremely good point. We want all those with the capability and aspiration to become nurses to be able to do so. That is why we are supporting multiple routes to becoming a nurse. While the majority of new nurses take the university route, another option is the degree apprenticeship, which enables students to earn while they learn. Last month, we announced a £172 million funding package to double the number of nursing apprenticeships