The Minister for apprenticeships and skills has made a virtual visit to 'inspirational' pupils at Blackburn College.

Gillian Keegan met with the College’s Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad, Director of Business Development and External Engagement Nicola Clayton and Head of Marketing Ben Taylor.

During the visit the minister got to meet Apprentices from a range of businesses and sectors including Asma Molvi, an Early Years Educator Apprentice employed by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Gillian said: “It was great to visit Blackburn College and speak to some of their talented apprentices. It was fantastic to hear their excitement for where their apprenticeship will take them and why they decided to start their journey.

“I was inspired by Asma, who as an older apprentice decided to upskill and start her Level 3 early years childcare apprenticeship and is now encouraging family members to consider one. Her story is an excellent example of how an apprenticeship can help adults unlock their potential at any age and go on to progress in exciting careers.

“As a former apprentice myself, I know the lifechanging impact an apprenticeship can have in opening up the path to a fulfilling career. I wish all the apprentices at Blackburn College the best of luck for the future, and I would encourage anyone interested to find out more about the opportunities available.”

Dr Dad and Nicola spoke to Gillian about Blackburn College’s Apprentices, the variety of Apprenticeship courses on offer and the relationships with Employers and businesses and how the College’s Apprentices had navigated the Covid-19 pandemic, while Ben provided a virtual tour of the campus including the College’s Motor Vehicle facilities.

Dr Fazal Dad, Principal and Chief Executive of Blackburn College, said: “We were delighted to welcome Gillian Keegan to Blackburn College, albeit virtually – it was a pleasure to showcase our Apprenticeship offer with the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills.

“It was an excellent opportunity to highlight our Apprenticeship department, our links with many fantastic Employers and our multitude of courses that develop learners’ skills.”