Employment minister Alan Johnson has moved to the Department of Education
and Skills (DfES) as part of last week’s cabinet reshuffle.
Johnson has left the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) after being
appointed the new minister of state for lifelong learning, further and higher
education, replacing his predecessor Margaret Hodge.
The former postman and unionist is said to have impressed Prime Minister
Tony Blair with his work at the DTI, which in-cluded a raft of new employment
legislation and consultation.
Before joining front-line politics, Johnson worked as the general secretary
of the Union of Communication Workers (1993-1995), and as joint general
secretary of the Communication Workers Union (1995-97). He also sat on the TUC
Johnson’s move to the DfES is also appropriate given the Government’s
further education policy of continuous learning, because Johnson himself never
Johnson’s role has been divided between two ministers: Jacqui Smith, who
will be responsible for industry and the regions, and Gerry Sutcliffe, who will
deal with employment relations and legislation.
In another development, Des Brown has replaced Nick Brown as minister for
work, while Malcolm Wicks takes over the vacant pensions role at the Department
of Work and Pensions (DWP).
By Ross Wigham
Alan Johnson, minister of state for lifelong learning, further
and higher education
Desmond Browne, minister for work
Malcolm Wicks, minister for pensions
Chris Pond, parliamentary under-secretary
Jacqui Smith, deputy minister for women
Gerry Sutcliffe, minister for employment relations, competition and consumers