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On 10 November 2020, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan MP, carried out a virtual visit to our Education and Skills Centres in Boston and Newcastle, and took part in a virtual lesson.

Keegan heard from two learners at our Newcastle Centre. One learner, who has returned to complete his Motor Vehicle course and work placement, has personally tackled many barriers to participating in learning, and she heard from another female learner who aspires to be a vet. Both told of their experiences of learning during COVID-19 and read out extracts from a letter they had written as part of their Functional Literacy qualifications.  

A version of the popular TV show The Chase was used with our Boston learners as a way of building and retaining curriculum knowledge on their courses including Sports and Animal Care. The game finished with a general knowledge quiz for Nacro staff and the Minister who answered questions on Parliament and on Knowsley, where she grew up.

The Minister noted the work we have done to help young people and adults to overcome barriers to education and skills and was impressed by the work placements which our leaners secure. She talked about her experiences of being an apprentice and how she progressed to finally becoming a Minister and MP. She commented on the confidence of the learners taking part today and how they might use these skills for interviews and building their own networks of support. The group discussed the work that Nacro has done on ensuring our learners progress onto further education, apprenticeships and employment.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan MP, said: “It was fantastic to speak with some of the learners supported by Nacro Education and to see their teachers in action. It was great to see up close how Nacro’s Education and Skills Centres are providing courses for some of the most disadvantaged young people and adults, across England. It was inspiring to hear the ways Nacro staff are continuing to keep young people engaged during lockdown using a wide range of imaginative approaches, and to see the commitment and enthusiasm of young people for their own learning and progression.” 

Lisa Capper, Principal and Director of Education and Skills at Nacro, said: “Nacro Education is delighted to have hosted the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan today. Many of our learners have had interrupted academic careers and in times like this can often feel forgotten about. Achieving maths and English qualifications and developing technical skills for the future is essential for our young people right now. Young people have felt the brunt of this pandemic. Our wrap-around care and support is paying dividends for their capacity to learn during COVID-19.”

Find out more about our education work here.