Burnley College hosts virtual visit by minister

Gillian Keegan, parliamentary under secretary of state for apprenticeships and skills, made a visit to Burnley College and Themis through the virtual realm.

Sitting in her Westminster offices, the MP made a call to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the training sector and how the college's close links with employers are vital to secure the North West’s future business prosperity.

The visit, hosted by principal of Burnley College Karen Buchanan, deputy principal Simon Jordan and director of Themis Neil Burrows, highlighted how Themis and the wider college community has adapted over the past three months.

This included how training, teaching and learning has continued throughout the lockdown period, tailoring courses and apprenticeships to a post-coronavirus world and meeting the needs of local employers, as well as the college's empathetic support for each individual student.

Karen Buchanan said: "We are immensely proud of everything our Themis apprentices, their tutors and trainers have achieved – not just through the Covid-19 period but throughout the year – and it has been a privilege to showcase our amazing achievements and innovation to the Minister.

"It was a great opportunity for us to highlight how our role at the very heart of the business community in the North West is integral to the region’s economic recovery. How our position as a leading voice on advisory boards, in employer forums and networks and on round tables gives us the vital insights into the future training needs of employers. How we can shape our apprenticeship training and business skills training to dovetail with these needs and help to shape a dynamic, forward-thinking and motivated workforce with the high-level skills and knowledge needed for the post-Covid-19 business landscape."

The minister was also taken on a guided tour of the college’s 3D printers in its Industry 4.0 hub, met with various apprentices and spoke with Adam Corbally, star of TV's The Apprentice who has led regular successful motivational training sessions with students and apprentices.

She said: "It was fantastic to virtually visit Burnley College, who are leading the way in making sure people across the region gain the skills they need to progress – with outstanding teachers, working with local employers and state of the art equipment, including 3D printers and drones."

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