James Heappey Weekly Column

We are very lucky in this constituency to have a number of colleges giving students the opportunity to pursue apprenticeships alongside a range of courses. 

Strode College, in Street, has recently been shortlisted for Further Education College of the Year 2020, which is an excellent reflection of the hard work the staff have put in. The winners will be announced in London next month and I hope they bring home the award. I am very much looking forward to visiting them in a few weeks to get an update on their progress and see their ambitious plans for the future of Further Education. 

Elsewhere, Bridgwater College and Weston College also have much to offer my constituents and following Apprenticeship Week, I had an excellent visit to Weston College - which has more than 3000 students from this patch.

What really impressed me was the strong partnerships with industry. The college works with employers to establish their exact needs and produce highly-skilled workers. This was particularly apparent in defence and aerospace where many engineers and project managers are now working for AirBus, Rolls Royce and many more. 

It is so important young people have choices with how to pursue their careers, as university is a fantastic pathway but not for everyone. Apprenticeships produce excellent employees for businesses and are wonderful opportunities for students.