THE WAY Coventry College students are preparing for the world of work was showcased to a city MP when she visited the Henley campus.
Taiwo Owatemi, who represents Coventry North West, met staff and students as part of Colleges Week which celebrates the role education organisations play in their communities.
Ms Owatemi spoke to the college’s forensic sciences students and helped deconstruct a mock crime scene that they were analysing before meeting students in the rugby academy to find out more about the professional lifestyle they lead.
Her visit concluded by sampling some freshly prepared food at Henley’s Brasserie – a public restaurant based at the college and run by hospitality and catering students.
She also heard about events to celebrate Black History Month.
Former student and apprentice Ash Boon is now a full-time involvement and engagement coach at Coventry College, supporting learners alongside their studies with enrichment activities and student ambassador duties.
Ash, 26, who helped take Ms Owatemi around the campus, said it was great to welcome the MP.
“I’ve been studying and working at both of the college’s campuses for around ten years.
“I know first-hand the great variety of courses that we offer, and it’s important that influential figures such as Taiwo are made aware of the vital role that we play as a College in the community – both in terms of keeping young people safe while providing them with skills for successful careers.
“The best way of doing that is by inviting figures such as Taiwo in to see this first hand – in just one building we have upcoming rugby athletes, chefs, waitresses and waiters, as well as forensic investigators – the opportunities we provide to learners is huge.
“When I look back on my own career path, further education has underpinned my progression, and it’s encouraging to hear that MPs such as Taiwo recognise how important it is that Colleges such as ours, and the wider further education sector, continue to receive financial support so we can continue helping learners in reaching their potential.”
Ms Owatemi said: “I am delighted to have joined Coventry College to celebrate Colleges Week.
“During my visit, I saw in action what I already know: colleges are vital for enriching lives and creating opportunities for our local community.
“Coventry College is exemplary of how students and staff, from every background, can work together to create positive change within their own lives, campuses and beyond in the wider community.
“The diversity of courses enable local talent to flourish, undoubtedly enhancing Coventry’s future prospects in every sector. Needless to say, I’m proud to give them my full support.”
She added she had written to the Secretary of State for Education insisting Coventry College receives the financial support it needs to thrive.
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