Minister's praise after flying boot camp visit

Minister visiting college

The Minister talks boot camps - Credit: EMPRA

Government Minister Gillian Keegan dropped in on South Devon to talk 'boot camps'

The Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills visited South Devon College following the Government launch of technical bootcamps, to see the difference these are making to provide job opportunities for people aged 19 and over who are seeking work, looking to change careers, or wanting to retrain.

The bootcamps are to support people to develop the skills they need to get good jobs and will also strengthen links between employers and further education providers.

Rachel Coles (43) left her previous job working for a local charity and enrolled on the college’s photonics bootcamp.

She said: ""This could be [the start of] a new career for me, something exciting and after lockdown everyone has come to realise how important the medical and scientific fields are."

Minister college visit

Talking skills - Credit: EMPRA

The College’s £17m Hi Tech & Digital Centre was of particular interest to the Minister.

She said: "Skills bootcamps are unique, giving people the chance to upskill or retrain for free over a short period of time, with a clear line of sight to a job at the end. "

College principal Laurence Frewin  said: "We know how important it is to ensure the workforce has the technical skills needed to help our economy grow.."

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He added: "These bootcamps will enable us to reach even more people across the area and help train the engineers, technicians and health professionals of the future."

The Minister told the Torbay Weekly that improving or changing skills was for people of all ages.

She recognised the importance of tourism locally and the apprenticeships in the industry.

But she said the technical boot camps would fit in well with Torbay's growing hi-tech cluster.

"Torbay is the centre of the country for this. It has a lot of highly-skilled companies operating in this area and it is a growth area" she said.

Torbay has been hugely successful in bagging government funding in the past few months. Why?

She said: "You have a brilliant MP who is very persistent and tenacious and is now in government and people have put good propositions together."

She once had a holiday with her family at a B&B in Torquay.

"The area is beautiful and lots of people want to come here," she said