Trafford College welcomes Secretary of State for Education

Trafford College welcomes Secretary of State for Education

Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, paid a visit to Trafford College’s Altrincham campus following his speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

Mr Williamson was given a tour of the College and dropped in on lessons where he met with a number of staff members before being quizzed by A Level and Hospitality students.

The Minister, who had earlier pledged £120m in extra funding for a new wave of specialist institutes, announced his plans for vocational and technical training which would see the launch of a further eight institutes of technology – a collaboration between further education (FE) colleges, universities and employers to offer higher level technical training – joining the 12 opening this year to rival higher education as an option for students.

Addressing Tory Party members in Manchester, he said: “Apprenticeships, technical and vocational education, these are just as important and as valuable as going to university and are just as important to our economy to make sure that Britain succeeds in the future.

“So today I am setting a new target to supercharge further education over the next decade. Our aim is to overtake Germany in the opportunities we offer to those studying technical routes by 2029.”

The institutes, one of which will be built in the North West, would offer higher level technical training as an alternative to university degrees.

At the end of his visit to the College, which included a tour of Aspire Restaurant and its training kitchens, Enhance Spa, and the new Sixth Form Centre, students were given the chance put questions to Mr Williamson.

The Minister was full of praise for the College and the excellent experience received by students - so much so that he promised to return to the College, and in particular to the award winning Aspire Restaurant to sample the skills students have acquired.

Trafford College Group Principal, Lesley Davies OBE commented, “We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to Trafford College today and to hear more about his future plans for FE. Our Colleges play a vital role in changing lives and supporting our local employers and economy, and we are proud to be at the forefront of skills training for the region.

“This visit was a fantastic opportunity for the Minister to meet some of our wonderful staff and students, and to witness first-hand the real impact further education is having on so many students and their lives. We look forward to welcoming Mr Williamson back to the College in the future.”