STUDENTS met Minister for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan on Friday to speak about their experiences at Priestley College and their aspirations for the future.
Minister Donelan met more than a dozen young people to hear about their courses and if there was anything they might change about them.
She said: “It was fantastic to meet with students and staff at Priestley College, and to hear about their studies and aspirations for the future – to mark National Apprenticeship Week.
“Apprenticeships and T-Levels offer high-quality routes for young people to develop the skills they need to progress, and get on the path to a rewarding job.”
The Minister was joined by Warrington South MP Andy Carter for a discussion with Priestley’s Principal James Gresty as well as several other headteachers from the area.
Next, after a brief tour of the campus, they were joined by students on a range of courses including A-Levels, T-Levels, Vocational options and the mixed programmes.
Also joining them was Ben Sefton, the managing director of Alcimi which
has been offering T-Level work placements at its Greenall’s Avenue headquarters.
He was asked about his experience of welcoming Priestley students into his office and giving them a project on which to work.
“At first I was sceptical, but I was astounded at the level of knowledge they had and they even managed to teach us a few things,” he said.
When the Minister asked if anything could be done to improve T-Levels, former Helsby High School pupil Isabel Carberry had a suggestion for the Education & Childcare qualification.
“I think it would be really beneficial to have a First Aid course as part of the T-Level,” she said.
Other students talked about different plans for their progression after college and explained how they had benefited from taking part in National Apprenticeship Week at Priestley.
Former Bridgewater High pupil Jake Burke has chosen to study a degree after Priestley College and secured an offer from the University of Cambridge to study Philosophy.
“College has been a great help because it has been a lengthy process to apply to university and I couldn’t have done it without the support I have received,” he said.
Principal James Gresty said he was extremely proud of all the students who took part.
“They were a real credit to themselves, the college and Warrington during the discussion,” he said.
“We just asked them to be honest with the Minister as this was their chance to have some input and to hear their thoughtful responses was a proud moment for everyone involved in their education so far.”