THE GOVERNMENT’S education minister visited Solihull College and University Centre to find out about its Engineering and Construction facilities.
Gillian Keegan, the Secretary of State for Education was given a tour of the Woodlands Campus including its 737 Flight Simulator and Aircraft Hangar and the construction facilities by Principal, Dr Rebecca Gater, and members of the senior leadership team.
The college say Ms Keegan was blown away by the skills on display by plastering and bricklaying students and learnt about the new facility being built to accommodate the increase in local and regional demand for construction skills.
Visiting the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) facility at the campus, the minister spoke passionately about Institute of Technology and how she believes they are a gamechanger for further education.
Ms Keegan said: “Their investment in new engineering and construction facilities is a fantastic example of how we can meet the increasing demand for high-quality technical skills. Solihull College and University Centre is a key partner in The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology, which specialises in advanced manufacturing, engineering and digital, and is one of 21 IoTs we’re opening to develop a skilled workforce and drive growth in a modern economy.”
Ms Keegan concluded her tour in the College’s Higher Education Centre where she met with supported interns and apprentices and their employers.
Dr Gater said: “Gillian Keegan is a dedicated champion of apprenticeships, and our students, staff and employers enjoyed listening to her experience as a degree apprentice and the only apprentice in the House of Commons.
“During the visit, the Secretary of State took a great deal of time talking to students about the skills they were developing, and to staff about their experience of teaching; I know this meant a great deal to them.
“Our College is proud of the strong relationships that we have with stakeholders, and this visit epitomised that, bringing students and apprentices, staff and employers together with the Secretary of State and DfE officials to talk about skills, apprenticeships and investment.”
The visit came following the first speech the Secretary of State has delivered to the Further Education Sector as the Secretary of State for Education at the Association of College’s annual conference in Birmingham.