South Essex College campus in Thurrock could be "Gold-Standard" says Tristram Hunt

TRISTRAM Hunt MP, Shadow Education Minister said: “South Essex College is winning with young people and with businesses because they listen to both: asking local firms what skills they need and creating the courses to match. It was great to meet Nathan, who is training to be a bricklayer on an apprenticeship at a local firm.

“But youth apprenticeships are a complete blind-spot for David Cameron’s government. He has failed young people on apprenticeships, too many young people get fobbed of with apprenticeships that are too short, and don’t give them the skills they need. Labour will create 100,000 proper apprenticeships lasting two years. We can learn from South Essex College to make that a reality.”

Polly Billington, Labour’s candidate to be Thurrock’s next MP said: “Time and again local employers tell me they can’t get the skilled workforce they need locally. South Essex College is doing a great job to change that. From plumbers are plasterers to fashion designers, Thurrock really has got talent.

But there’s still too much snobbery against vocational education – especially from this government which makes it harder for people to learn by cutting financial support like the educational maintenance allowance and creating so-called apprenticeships some of which really don’t qualify for the name.

"That’s why we need gold-standard technical qualifications and gold-standard colleges to deliver them. I hope if Labour wins the General Election next year, South Essex College can become one of those institutions.”

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