Belfast Telegraph

Budget 2017: 'Technical training and childcare help could make a big difference'

Case Study 1

Lisa Robinson has two young sons and hopes the Chancellor's plans for 'T-levels' - technical training, in courses such as engineering or building - and extra childcare funding really happen.

Compliance officer Lisa (34), from Larne, said: "We've had so many changes in education over the years that you never know what's going to last, but these technical qualifications are something I'd be very much in favour of for my boys."

Caiden (9) and six-year-old Callan have different interests and Lisa hopes the options of T-levels as well as A-levels in the future would truly cater for their needs.

"They're still young, so of course things might change as they get older," she said.

"But as a mum I'm always really aware of what's going on in education and I hope these options will cover what will suit them both.

"At the minute Caiden is very academic while Callan is very creative and has a more hands on, practical personality, so this would potentially be great for him. I like the idea of vocational qualifications truly being taken as seriously as academic results by employers, so I hope this is something that lasts and isn't just a short-lived, fleeting idea."

Lisa said the news about extra financial help for parents with childcare was also very welcome for her and 34-year-old husband Carl, a procurement officer.

"Our boys are up in school now," she said. "But we've always considered having a third child and finances have been an issue as childcare is just so expensive.

"We rely on grandparents for help with the boys, which is fantastic, but that wouldn't be so easy with a newborn or even a toddler.

"As much as £2,000 a year per child will make a huge difference and would really put the possibility of another baby back on the table for us as something to consider."

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