Government Minister, Justine Greening MP, chose Walsall College as her first port of call following her recent appointment as Secretary of State for Education.
Justine, who was only appointed last week, visited the Ofsted outstanding college on Thursday 21st July where she met with members of the college’s executive team including Principal and Chief Executive, Jatinder Sharma OBE, to discuss the college’s key strengths and best practice lessons that could be implemented by other colleges.
In addition, Justine was given a tour of the college’s £64m Wisemore campus and £11m Business and Sports Hub, and shown the state-of-the-art industry training facilities including the new risual Microsoft IT academy, Job Shop for employers and apprentices, Littleton Restaurant and commercial hair and beauty salon.
Walsall College made history in 2013 when it became the first Outstanding general further education college under new inspection framework in the UK, and the first ever to receive a grade one in the Black Country.
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, said:
”The Prime Minister has made clear that this government will focus on making Britain a country that works for everybody – not just the privileged few. For me, that starts with education.
“It was tremendous to see first-hand the fantastic work Walsall college is doing to bridge the gap between education and industry and get more young people on to the career ladder.
“This is a place where people’s lives and prospects are transformed for the better, and where there is a real drive to push standards ever higher.”
Principal and Chief Executive of Walsall College, Jatinder Sharma OBE, said: “We are honoured that Justine chose to visit the college and give us the opportunity to showcase our work in the sector. The college prides itself delivering world class vocational training that equips students with the skills and knowledge employers are looking for. Our main aim is to give students a head start in the workplace or prepare them for university, and in doing so, create growth in our economy.
“Over the last four years we have also grown our apprenticeship provision by 74% and are working with over 500 employers to support their business objectives, making us one of the biggest providers of apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds in the West Midlands.”