College students show off their on the job training

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Students at Milton Keynes College had the chance to showcase their skills to Labour’s Education Minister, Tristram Hunt MK, last Thursday.

Tristram Hunt MP, Labour’s Education Secretary, visited Milton Keynes as part of National Apprenticeship Week and to find out what teachers think of Labour’s plans to raise school standards.

The visit was the latest in Labour’s Local Education Roadshow which has brought leading politicians to the city to meet teachers, university staff and students.

The Shadow Education Secretary met students at MK College in Bletchley to learn more about vocational courses on offer in the borough, and about the college’s links with businesses.

On arrival Mr Hunt enjoyed tea in the Brasserie, a restaurant run by catering students as part of their course. Milton Keynes College has a strong track record on delivering vocational learning in partnership with local business, and he will also meet staff and students from the hairdressing, motor vehicle and tourism courses.

The Shadow Minster was invited to Milton Keynes by Labour’s Parliamentary Candidates for the city, Andrew Pakes and Emily Darlington. He also met staff and students at Walton High and hosted a meeting with local head teachers in the city.

National Apprenticeship Week was set up by the Labour Government in 2008 as part of its commitment to apprenticeships and raising the profile of vocational education.

Last week Labour published its independent Skills Taskforce report, which recommends giving businesses greater say over training and restoring higher standards to ensure apprenticeships last a minimum of two years. Companies bidding for larger contracts would have to offer apprenticeships.

Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Milton Keynes South, said:

“I am really pleased that Tristram had the opportunity to meet teachers and students in Milton Keynes to hear more about their views on school standards and vocational education. This week Labour announced it will transform careers advice so that it works better for students and businesses, and increase standards in Maths and English by making them compulsory subjects until the age of 18.

“We have some amazing schools in MK, as well as the college, and the visit was a great opportunity to put our local needs on the radar of national politicians.”