Deputy PM Nick Clegg visits Somerset College

The Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg visited Somerset College on 11 December. He was joined by the recently elected Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Rachel Gilmour and Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne, who she will succeed after the general election next year.

During their tour of the College, Mr Clegg met Apprentices, degree students and local employers, as he saw at first hand its close relationship with the local business community.

Staff and students showed Mr Clegg around the innovative Advanced Centre for Engineering, which features a full-size jet engine that is used for practical work on the College’s Aeronautical Engineering programmes.

In addition, the Deputy PM saw the College’s recently renovated automotive and civil engineering facilities. He also met representatives from National Apprenticeship Awards finalist and Somerset College partner Queen Street Garage in Taunton.

“Mr Clegg’s visit provided an opportunity to showcase the importance of cooperation between education providers and employers,” commented Somerset College’s director of enterprise and employer relations, Justin Olosundé. “It was great that he could hear local employers speak about the benefits of working with the College to equip and empower the workforce of the future.”

“It was hugely exciting for our staff, students and employer partners to meet one of the UK’s most senior politicians,” said College Principal and Chief Executive Rachel Davies. “The visit demonstrated Somerset College’s status as a major player in the country’s FE and HE sectors – a voice to be taken seriously in national debates about the future of education and skills training.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said:
"I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Somerset college with local MP Jeremy Browne and Rachel Gilmour, our candidate who hopes to take over from Jeremy representing the people of Taunton Deane next year in parliament.  
"The Liberal Democrats have long championed and pushed for more apprenticeships. We have started 2 million apprenticeships this Parliament and it was wonderful to meet the apprentices, degree students and employers at the college and hear about their experiences first hand.
"Many thanks to the staff, apprentices and students for their hospitality and for showing me round the fantastic facilities at the college."