COLUMN: College will be a great asset for town

Ben Bradley, MP.
Ben Bradley, MP.

This week I had the honour and privilege of cutting the ribbon to open the new Independent Training College site just off Commercial Gate, and to welcome this new asset to the town.

The college is a new provision aimed at supporting people in further education, and particularly for those young people who might not have had the best time at school for whatever reason. They focus on supporting English and maths qualifications, as well as offering work experience in conjunction with lots of local businesses.

It was great to hear from two of the young guys currently at the college about how they have gained in both skills and confidence, and it’s clear to see. They managed to stand up and put together a great presentation in front of the audience gathered there, that they said simply wouldn’t have been possible without their recent experiences with the college.

I went to meet the team a few weeks ago and it was brilliant to see the passion and commitment they have to supporting young people. I look forward to seeing great success there.

It’s another really important step forward in trying to bring business closer to education too, and make sure that the employability skills and qualifications that young people are getting are the right ones to link them up with good jobs and careers going forward.

It’s absolutely vital that every child knows what options are available to them post 16, and it’s definitely not just a case of sixth form and university. That’s right for some, but there are countless other options through colleges and apprenticeships that are equally rewarding and possibly more beneficial. If we can make sure that more people have a choice, and have the knowledge to pick the path that’s right for them, then we’ll be heading in the right direction.