10 February 2016

Colleges in the East Midlands have warmly welcomed The Baroness Sharp of Guildford to their campuses this week.

The Baroness visited The Sheffield College on Monday (8 February), and was accompanied by emfec Chief Executive Paul Eeles to Lincoln College and Grantham College yesterday (9 February).

At Lincoln College, The Baroness and Paul were greeted with a presentation from the college and had the opportunity to visit the Deans Centre and meet some of the college’s students.

Later in the day, they toured the campus at Grantham College and had lunch in the college’s training restaurant, Apple Tree Restaurant, which is operated by students studying hospitality and catering qualifications.

The Baroness has taken the opportunity to visit the colleges while she is in the area for emfec’s annual conference, which took place on Monday 8 February.

The Baroness joined a panel at emfec’s conference, alongside teaching practitioners and student leaders, to discuss the forgotten voices in policy making. The peer used the opportunity to urge the government to stop moving the goalposts for further education, and to rebuke their funding cuts to adult learning.

Baroness Sharp went on to praise the sector for continuing to “keep its head above the water” during the many changes that have taken place in further education over the past few years.

At a dinner for speakers following the conference, Paul thanked Baroness Sharp for her continued support and service to the further education sector, and the peer received a round of applause from leaders from across the skills and education sector.

Baroness Sharp is a well-known champion for further education in Parliament and is Vice-Chair of the all-party parliamentary Skills and Employment Group, as well as a long-term member of the all-party Skills Commission.