Hillingdon MPs have backed a national campaign to support a scheme to get businesses and colleges working together to improve skills.

Under the Unified to Deliver banner, employers and college Principals have formed an alliance and called for MPs to back partnership schemes between employers and colleges in their constituencies.

The launch of the campaign at the House of Commons in October was attended by college Principals, students, employers and MPs from all over the country.

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell (Lab), Uxbridge MP John Randall (Cons) and Ruislip-Northwood MP Nick Hurd (Cons) all put their support behind the campaign.

Representatives from Uxbridge College attending the launch were Principal Laraine Smith, student Pooja Thakrar, former student Jessica Jackson, and Richard Bearman from the HSBC Bank, where Jessica did work experience.

Pooja (24), from Southall, who is due to finish a three-year Accounting Technician Course in June, emphasized the importance of the College and employers working together.

Pooja, who did work experience for a month in the accounts department at Aspects Software in Stockley Park, said: "It's been very useful doing work experience because I am studying accounting and it is relating to my course. You get all the knowledge from books and it enhances that. I think it's important for colleges and employers to work together - work experience is a good chance for the student and the employers."

Jessica (18), from Southall, completed a BTEC National Diploma in Business Studies and is now doing a four-year sandwich course to get a BSc Honours degree in Business and Management (Accounting) at Brunel University. She did work experience at HSBC in Uxbridge in April as part of her course.

She said: "It was really helpful to go along to the event because you get to learn new things and meet different people. It was about getting businesses and colleges to work together. It's important because if a student is going to go to work, they need skills. "


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