From education to employment

Gillian Keegan MP sees first-hand future emerging sectors available to learners at Borders College

Group of borders college staff and politicians

Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, was given a warm welcome by staff and students on a recent visit to the @BordersCollege Galashiels campus.

Accompanied by John Lamont MP and Rachael Hamilton MSP, Ms Keegan was given a tour of the campus’s state-of-the-art learning environments and got the chance to speak with staff and students about the innovative teaching practices happening within.

Ms Keegan started her tour in the construction workshops, talking with staff and students about new emerging technologies in the industry, including renewable energy sources and sustainable practices.

The MP was interested to see the College’s newly refurbished tech areas such as the BT Immersive Room, which offers a full 360-degree floor-to-ceiling socially immersive experience for classes. She was keen to talk with the group about the benefits the new technology will bring to the student experience.

Ms Keegan visited the Cyber Security Room, which offers students the chance to learn about digital security in a bespoke setting. A tour of the College’s BTECH room saw the MP look at the virtual care settings available to learners at Borders College.

The investment in these areas will be used as part of the College’s mission to continuously innovate and provide world-class facilities for its students, ensuring they leave college ‘work ready’ with specialist skills relevant to thriving and emerging sectors.

Interested in the fantastic global opportunities available to students, the MP also met with a group of students who will be travelling to Toronto, Canada to visit Centennial College for a short programme of study – all possible thanks to the UK Government-funded Turing Scheme.

Gillian Keegan commented on her visit, saying:

“It was a pleasure to tour the fantastic facilities and hear first-hand about all the great work that’s happening at Borders College alongside John Lamont MP and Rachael Hamilton MSP.

“Borders College provides exciting opportunities for young people to learn new skills, earn a good qualification, and advance their careers.

“I would urge the SNP Government to listen to Borders residents and fully support the college to continue the excellent experience it provides for ambitious local people to get ahead.”

Borders College Principal Pete Smith commented:

“We were delighted to host Ms Keegan at our Galashiels campus. We welcome every opportunity to showcase our outstanding facilities and the fantastic work our students are doing.

“Our students were pleased to speak to the MP about their experiences and aspirations, and we are grateful to Mrs Keegan for taking the time to visit us.”

John Lamont said:

“Borders College develops the skills and advances the careers of thousands of local young people every year.

“It was very interesting today to see first-hand the high standard of practical work already being achieved by the apprentices, and the innovative teaching methods being used at the college.

“That’s why I have been urging the SNP Government to increase funding to the college, so it can deliver even more places for students and continue to offer a first-class learning experience.”

Rachael Hamilton commented:

“It was fantastic to welcome Gillian Keegan MP to the Borders College campus in Galashiels to join her in learning about the innovative teaching practices given here in the Borders.

“The college gives valuable learning opportunities to students to allow them to continue living and working in the Borders while helping our local economy grow.

“Thank you to Pete, the members of staff and all the students involved who did an excellent job in showcasing the best of what Borders College has to offer.”

Gillian Keegan was appointed Secretary of State for Education on 25 October 2022. She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Africa) at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office from 7 September 2022 to 25 October 2022.

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