From education to employment

Baroness Barran MBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education visits Kingston College

Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System

Kingston College welcomed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School and College System), Baroness Barran.

Principal John O’Shea introduced Baroness Barran to College staff and students before highlighting the array of academic and vocational courses offered and the strong links to employers, employability and the local and regional skills needs.

Baroness Barran was given a tour of the huge campus and spoke to numerous groups of students about their experience of studying here, including meeting with production arts students in the Theatre, hairdressing and barbering students in the Headmasters Commercial Salon, motor vehicle, electrical and engineering students in their workshops and personal training students in the gym. The visit coincides with the College’s Employability Week and Baroness Barran had the opportunity to observe employers working with students in most of these sessions including Treadlighter, a solar panel installation company working with electrical students as part of the development of the College’s ‘Green’ portfolio.

During the visit, the Baroness met with apprentices, adult learners, 16-18 year old learners, as well as the Group’s Vice Principal – HE and Partnerships, Stella Raphael-Reeves, Head of Employability, Clive Lissaman, Head of the Engineering School John Harris as well as Chief Executive of Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Forbes Lowe.

Principal John O’Shea said:

“We were absolutely delighted to welcome Baroness Barran to our College and showcase the wonderful work we do, in particular our commitment to our employers and the Skills Agenda. The College aimed to demonstrate our curriculum’s versatility, the commitment and expertise of our staff and the work of our fantastic students. Our students and staff really enjoyed meeting the Minister and discussed big issues, such as mental health, employability and career opportunities for young people. It is a great privilege to have been chosen for such a high level visit and to be the Minister’s first visit to an FE college.”

Minister for the School and College System Baroness Barran said:

“Colleges like Kingston play a vital role, not just supporting more people to gain the skills they need to succeed but also powering growth in key sectors like engineering, green technology, hairdressing and the arts.

“It was a pleasure to meet with students, apprentices and staff to see and hear about the brilliant work they are doing to help drive forward our ambitious skills agenda.”

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