Students talk tuition fees and job prospects with Labour MP

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Student Association Executives with Liam Byrne MP (centre) and Joe Cooke (right)

Students at Seevic College were pleased to welcome Liam Byrne MP – Labour Shadow Minister for Universities, Science & Skills – on the final day of his “A13 Tour”.

Mr Byrne has been touring schools and colleges along the A13, finding out what young people really want from their government and encouraging them to make sure they are registered to vote.

When Mr Byrne asked Seevic students about the barriers they perceived separating them from future success, university tuition fees topped their list of concerns.

The students in the focus group also expressed apprehension about their prospects entering the job market, raising issues regarding the need for real work experience and the availability of careers guidance in schools.

Seevic College is a firm supporter of the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) “Careers Guidance: Guaranteed” campaign, which aims to ensure that all young people have access to careers advice on post-14 education, training and employment options.

When asked if he supported the CGG campaign, Mr Byrne explained: “Yes, we’re looking at it hard. We’re going to publish our Young People’s Manifesto at the end of February – that’s why I’m ploughing down the A13, talking to hundreds of young people about their ideas for the Manifesto.”  

Mr Byrne went on to say: “I don’t think people realise how ambitious and ‘up for it’ the next generation is; they’re often juggling jobs – because they want to be self reliant – and studying hard as well. Loads of young people are interested in starting their own business but, above all, they want to work hard and do well.

Engineering Gift Presentation - Aaron Junior with Liam Byrne MP

“Young people have always ridden to the rescue of Britain in the toughest times and that’s just what this generation can do now, if they get the right backup – like the backup provided at Seevic College.”

Joe Cooke, Labour candidate for Castle Point, also spoke with students about the importance of registering to vote and going on to use that vote at an election: “I can absolutely guarantee, having been a local councillor for eleven years here in the past, that what gets rewarded gets done – so if you don’t have a vote, you simply won’t get listened to as clearly.”   

Seevic Principal, Nick Spenceley, said: “I was immensely proud of our students, for the thoughtful way they put their views across, and for their evident determination to succeed.” 

At the end of Mr Byrne’s visit he was presented with an engraved, and fully functional, Reciprocating Engine desktop ornament – commemorating his visit to Seevic College. The Engine was constructed completely from scrap metal, as part of a BTEC Level 1 and 2 Engineering project, and was presented by the students who made it.  

Anyone looking for free and impartial careers guidance is welcome to attend Seevic College’s next Open Evening, from 5.30 to 8pm on Tuesday 3 February 2015. You can also call 01268 756 111, or email info@seevic-college.ac.uk, for further advice and information. 

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