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Skills policy moves from BIS to Department of Education

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The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education have been shaken up under May

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is to become the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department in Prime Minister Theresa May's new government, with skills transferring to the Department of Education.

The renamed BEIS department will be headed by Greg Clark, formerly communities and local government secretary. The previous business secretary Sajid Javid is the new communities and local government secretary.

Ex-international development secretary Justine Greening will be the new education secretary, replacing Nicky Morgan. Greening will also be taking on Morgan's former brief as minister for women and equalities.

Former policing and justice minister Damian Green has taken the role of work and pensions secretary. Stephen Crabb, who held the position in David Cameron's government, has resigned from the cabinet.

The government said moving skills responsibility, including apprenticeships, into the Department for Education would give it a "comprehensive, end-to-end view of skills and education".

But CIPD head of public policy Ben Willmott questioned whether the new arrangement risked becoming "one dimensional".

"It's important that skills and education are not seen in isolation and that the skills agenda isn't just about the supply of skills to the labour market but also about how skills are used in the workplace," he told HR magazine. "It's critical that future skills policy looks at supply and demand."

Willmott added that investment in skills was a big part of industrial strategy and said he hoped the two departments would be "absolutely joined up".

"if we want to take the high road, with higher skills and higher value, we need to have a significant change in skills policy," he added.