Macclesfield College of Further and Higher Education recently welcomed the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, to its state-of-the-art campus to showcase the College’s excellent reputation for helping young people into work through vocational courses, Higher Education and Apprenticeships.
Mr Duncan Smith was accompanied on the visit by David Rutley, MP for Macclesfield. Macclesfield College Principal and Chief Executive, Rachel Kay, escorted the Secretary of State and Mr Rutley on a tour of the College’s vocational training areas and outlined how it is working to meet local, regional and national priorities with its responsive Apprenticeship programme from Level 2 upwards.
Mr Duncan Smith met with students and saw for himself the great work that the College and its staff were doing to prepare young people with relevant skills for the world of work. He commented: “Whether it's building the next generation of aeroplane engines or working in top restaurants, apprenticeships offer exciting opportunities to earn a wage while learning new skills that employers are calling out for.
“Macclesfield College gives their students programmes and qualifications for great jobs – and rightly puts apprenticeships at the heart of this. I was deeply impressed by the nature of the training, but more importantly by the sheer enthusiasm of the young people engaged in their work. I was also particularly pleased with the attention that was paid to ensuring students were provided with training that matches the skills local businesses need – thus greatly improving their employment prospects and chances of getting a great start to their career.
“On top of all of the other support we are offering young people, this Government has committed to deliver three million more high quality apprenticeships by 2020. Taken together, our commitment to social mobility and social justice is clear – ensuring we give all young people the best chance to get on in life.”
David Rutley, who is a keen supporter of the College and its work with local employers, also commented: “It has been a pleasure to bring the Secretary of State around Macclesfield College, to see the excellent work being done by the College and local businesses, to support apprenticeships. It has been very encouraging to see how the College has developed its scheme in recent months, but also how local businesses have taken up the challenge to expand their apprenticeship programmes. This has been keenly demonstrated by the recent excellent news that local employer AstraZeneca has been recognised in the ‘Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers’ in England.”
Principal Rachel Kay told the Secretary of State how the College was supporting the local and national economy in employment training through its commitment to improving vocational skills across a broad range of industries. She commented: “I was delighted to welcome such a prominent member of the Government to our campus to showcase our fabulous students, excellent facilities, staff and resources. This was a great opportunity to demonstrate how we are a responsive organisation that can deliver exactly what employers and individuals need for today’s workforce.”
She continued: “This is an exciting time for Macclesfield College - we recently received a Silver Award in the 'Best Company to Work For' category of the North East Cheshire Business Awards and our dedicated business training brand, ‘Maxim Business Training’ is helping to drive the region’s business community to the next level of operational excellence. We are certainly moving forward with a strategic focus and pace that is committed to positioning the College as the place for high quality training and excellence in the workplace.”
Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (front row centre), Rachel Kay, Macclesfield College Principal (front row far left) and David Rutley MP (front row second left) with students, staff and employers.
The Secretary of State toured the College's Aerospace Engineering hangar.
Iain Duncan Smith in the College's Silk Room Restaurant training kitchens.
The Secretary of State meets with Engineering apprentices.
Mr Duncan Smith chats to Performing Arts students.