The chairman of parliament’s education select committee has described Telford College as an ‘outstanding’ example of further education – and praised its ‘incredible students, staff and governors’.
His comments came after a fact-finding visit to the Haybridge campus, alongside Telford’s two MPs, Lucy Allan and Mark Pritchard.
Mr Halfon, a former Government skills minister, met students from the college’s engineering department, where courses range from plumbing and electronics to welding, vehicle technology and construction.
The delegation watched a welding demonstration, and met some of the employers working closely with the college on training partnerships, including Schneider Electric, Iconsys, Parkburn Manufacturing, and the NHS.
“What an outstanding further education college,” Mr Halfon said. “Telford College are excellent apprenticeship and BTEC providers, allowing students to climb the ‘ladder of opportunity’.
“It’s so great to hear that connectivity, artificial intelligence and automation are at the heart of the college’s strategic education plan.”
Telford MP Lucy Allan described Mr Halfon as a passionate supporter of further education, and said the delegation had been delighted to meet ‘such dynamic staff and students’ during their tour.
The visit came in a week when Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest was also invited to meet with current education secretary Damian Hinds to discuss the college’s progress, and vision for the future.
Mr Guest said: “It was a very successful visit, which gave Mr Halfon chance to chat with many of our students about their experiences with us.
“We’ve worked very hard, in partnership with the local business community, to create a curriculum which dovetails with modern-day needs, and it’s always pleasing when the hard work of our team is praised and recognised.”
Paul Hinkins, who chairs the college governors, added: “Mr Halfon’s visit was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the close work we do with local, regional and national employers and the investment we make in our apprentices with their skills development.
“We are a growing, forward-thinking college, town and local economy, and we need to ensure the right people with the right skills are available to meet our employers’ needs, both present and future.”