Staff and students at London South East Colleges’ Bexley Campus gave a warm welcome to the Member of Parliament for Old Bexley and Sidcup, the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government last week.
Mr Brokenshire dropped into the campus to meet Principal and Chief Executive Sam Parrett OBE, Chair of Governors Stephen Howlett CBE, DL, and Vice Principal Ana Guimaraes, as well as students studying a range of courses held at the campus.
The Minister was taken on a tour to meet students, apprentices and tutors, and to observe a number of lessons and activities. This included a short performance by the College’s SEND students and a tour of #ThePlatform - a pioneering new creative hub and Mac suite.
Students invited Mr Brokenshire to take part in several ‘have a go’ activities before engaging in a live TV interview by media and TV production student Louie Watkins. This was broadcast on the campus’s very own student-led TV channel.
Addressing students and staff, Mr Brokenshire said: “It was great to experience the hive of activity, creativity and innovation at London South East College’s Bexley Campus. It was also good fun being quizzed by students in the impressive TV and digital media facilities.
"The range of different subjects available in bright, modern surroundings underlines why this is such an important community resource for young people and employers alike. I will keep in contact with the College as it develops new opportunities for Bexley students to get the skills they need for great careers in the workplace.
Speaking after the event, Principal Sam Parrett OBE said: "Mr Brokenshire’s role in government gives him responsibility for ensuring people throughout the UK have access to affordable and high-quality housing, growing local economies, building integrated communities and supporting effective local government. Further education colleges, along with apprenticeship and skills providers will play a leading role in the success of all this.
“If successful with our GLA Skills for Londoners bid, we will be developing the new Place and Making Institute and the Mayor’s Construction Academy in south east London. These projects will bring together local authorities, housing associations and employers to establish a sustainable further and higher educational provision linked specifically to employment in the construction and built environment sectors.
“The visit today, combined with the dialogue we have shared, the opportunity to showcase what we do and how a college like ours supports and helps develop communities and local business, has been a fabulous experience and a golden opportunity for us to show the Minister just how important our role will be in advancing the economy both locally and nationally.”