Education Minister gives college thumbs up in flying visit

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson – Secretary of State for Education chats with Level 3 BIM student Tom Hudson, City & Guilds Engineering student Ryan Moore and Level 1 Welding student Millie Stokes during his flying visit to the college yesterday.

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson Secretary of State for Education visited the college yesterday (12 September) to see first-hand the work we are doing to support young people to gain the skills they need to forge great careers.

As one of the first institutions to deliver new T Level qualifications next year and one of the largest apprenticeship training providers in the West Midlands, the College is at the forefront of building a world class, technical education system that will deliver the workforce the country needs for the future.

On the visit Mr Williamson met with Neil Thomas, College Principal, as well as full-time students and apprentices. He also experienced hands on learning and had a go at perfecting his welding skills in a state-of-the art virtual reality welding bay - just some of the state-of-the-art equipment in our Advance I and II sites.

During the visit College Principal: Neil Thomas and regional stakeholders: Ian Austin MP, Mike Wood MP, David Hughes: Chief Executive Officer: Association of Colleges and Julie Robson from the Further Education Skills and Productivity Group took the opportunity to discuss key issues: including the development of the Institute of Technology and funding issues impacting on the sector.

Following the visit the Education Secretary said:
“It was brilliant to meet with staff, students and apprentices at Dudley College of Technology today. The college is at the forefront of delivering the skilled workforce the West Midlands and the country needs for the future and I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen here today.

It is absolutely vital that we continue to grow the nations skills. The £400 million boost we have provided for colleges and sixth forms will help to get even more young people on the path to a rewarding job. This major investment will help make sure colleges, like Dudley, can continue to provide high-quality education and recruit the brilliant teachers and leaders they need.”

Commenting on the visit College Principal: Neil Thomas said:
“I welcome the emphasis the Minister is placing on further education and the recognition that we are at the forefront of training the skilled workforce our economy needs. We believe first class technical education can change lives and plays a significant role in supporting our local employers as they face the skills and productivity challenges of the future. We are proud to be delivering the new T Levels and hope this attracts more young people to pursue training and careers in these rewarding sectors.”

Dudley College of Technology is also the driving force behind the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology – one of 12 that are being established across the country to specialise in delivering quality higher level technical training (primarily at Level 4 and 5) in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering to help close skills gaps.