Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, visited Warwickshire College’s Rugby Centre on Thursday.
Mr Cable spent the morning visiting the new state-of-the-art college in Technology Drive, Rugby, meeting students from a selection of construction, plumbing and carpentry courses, including apprentices from Taylor Wimpey, one of the largest British-based housebuilding companies, who are trained at the college.
Mr Cable then went on to speak to students and tutors at the college’s Power Academy, a facility which trains engineers in power generation manufacturing, including apprentices from leading companies such as Alstom, Rolls Royce and GE Energy.
The final stop on his tour featured the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA). The minister spoke to students at the PJEA who are working towards a Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship through a combination of theory and hands-on experience, providing them with the tools and mindset needed to succeed in business.
Student Phoebe Cowley, 18, from Rugby said: “Mr Cable asked about my business, which is called Glow All Out, providing products for festivals. I told him how the PJEA course has really supported me, given me ideas and experience and even helped me to change my business model to improve it.”
Mr Cable said: “It is good to see a college giving people the key skills and training to help build a balanced, sustainable economy.
“The hands-on manufacturing experience of the Power Academy and the entrepreneurial skills learnt at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy are providing important foundations for the West Midland’s economy of the future.”
As a founder-director of Gazelle Global Ltd and a member of the Gazelle Colleges Group, college culture of learning is geared towards business formation and growth, wealth creation and employment outcomes.
Principal and CEO, Mariane Cavalli said: “We were delighted to welcome Vince Cable to our Rugby centre so he could see for himself how, as a Gazelle college, we are equipping our students with more than just qualifications, enabling them to develop the skills and experience employers are looking for, and to become the employers of tomorrow.
“Our college represents a strategic and significant driver for local businesses and the wider economy in the sub-region, capitalising on our Gazelle Local activities and connections. From training apprentices for local engineering companies such as MTC, to helping our PJEA students gain the knowledge and experience to run their own businesses with the help of local business mentors, we provide a creative and supportive culture of innovation and learning for all of our students. Mr Cable was keen to find out about the partnerships we have with local employers and how our learning opportunities benefit local people and the economy.”