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Minister sees skills in action

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Minister for Skills Alex Burghart stopped off at The Bedford College Group to meet students who are training to fill the demand from industry in construction, engineering, and care.

He visited the newly-opened Connolly Centre for Modern Construction in Cauldwell Street and talked to students on courses for those aged 16-years onwards, linked to apprenticeships, T-Levels, further study or access to higher education and degrees. With Teddy Kye-Nyarko Head of Construction in charge, he witnessed a crush-testing training session, and talked to young people about their hopes for the future.

In the Bedford College’s Buchanan Centre for Advanced Engineering Mr Burghart met Level 4 HNC apprentices from Lockheed Martin, Bosch Rexroth, Collins  Aerospace and Cranfield University along with some Access to Higher Education students who were going back into education, with a view to progressing to a degree-level career in care.

“What we are showing here at Bedford College is how people can access training for careers at a time that suits them, and they can retrain or update skills throughout their lives.”

said Mr Burghart.

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Ian Pryce CBE, long-standing CEO said: “We were delighted to host a visit by the Minister. 

“For most of our students it was the first time they had spoken to an MP and one said: ‘He really listened to us’ which was a great comment.”

David Wilkins, Director of Construction at the Group said: “The Minister was pleased to see the combination of Government funding for construction training being supported so generously by the Connolly Foundation”

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The Bedford College Group was voted the Best FE College in the UK last year and leads the region in technology training which today covers all fields of industry. Alongside full-time students those aged 16 and upwards, people in their late 20s, 30s, 40s and older can and seize opportunities for progression and promotion at work by training whilst still working. This includes a wide access to Higher Education or degree-level learning, without “going away” to university.

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