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East Midlands Chamber News

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock Praises College Schemes

MP Matthew Hancock visits collegeMinister for Skills Matthew Hancock MP has praised the innovative educational partnerships at Burton and South Derbyshire College.

The Minister visited the college, a DNCC member, as part of a wider tour of skills and training initiatives in the region in which the college is a key partner.

He said: "The practices on display at Burton and South Derbyshire College are at the cutting edge of engaging with the local economy."

Mr Hancock also visited the FA’s new headquarters, at St George’s Park, where Burton and South Derbyshire College is the official college partner.

He was accompanied on the tour by BSDC Apprentice Emily Bramley, who is completing a level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship within FA Learning and works at St George’s Park in an event coordination role.

The partnership between the two organisations also includes visits from St George’s Park employees to share their experiences of industry within vocational areas such as Tourism and Hospitality.

Mr Hancock, Minister for Skills, said: "The connections between Burton and South Derbyshire College and St George's Park is a great illustration of what can be done when colleges work with local enterprise.

"It means that learners can have access to the same facilities as international sports stars, which will help them to make the most of their education. It is a model of cooperation that we hope to emulate throughout the country."

During his time at BSDC, the Minister reviewed plans for the new UTC – a school with technical specialisms in Bio-medical Sciences and Engineering, proposed by the college and backed by key employers and university sponsors including St Georges Park, Royal Derby Hospital, Nestle UK Ltd, FA Learning, Toyota UK and Coventry University.

The UTC was recently given government approval to proceed and is set to open in 2015 in order to train the next generation of engineers, scientists and technicians.

Dawn Ward OBE, Chief Executive and Principal at Burton and South Derbyshire College, said: “We really enjoyed the opportunity to greet Matthew Hancock here at the college and aim to fly the flag for all those colleges and further education providers across the country who are listening and responding closely to the needs of employers and revolutionising the way we deliver the skills for tomorrow, today.”

Andrew Griffiths, MP for South Derbyshire and East Staffordshire, said: “I was proud to welcome the Minister to the college and to show the outstanding initiatives supporting the development of our young people. I have no doubt that Matthew was impressed by the responsiveness of the college and the relationships they have forged with businesses in order to enhance the employment opportunities on offer for people of all ages.”

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