Minister of State visits Leeds College of Building

Leeds College of Building students showcased their skills this week when Andrew Stephenson MP paid a special visit to the South Bank Campus.

The Department for Transport Minister of State and Pendle MP is visiting Leeds as part of a week-long itinerary, meeting local stakeholders and employers to discuss transport infrastructure and the supply-chain benefits associated with HS2.

The College was the first UK provider to work with employers – through the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium – to develop a needed Apprenticeship Standard. This has been delivered by the College over the last 4 years and attracts apprentices nationally to its block release courses.

The MP attended the College on Monday (21 February 2022), toured state-of-the-art facilities, and spoke to staff and students about the opportunities available to support transport-related construction careers such as Civil Engineering.

Mr Stephenson also met students and staff in classrooms and workshops across Gas, Plumbing, Electrical, Heating & Ventilation, and Refrigeration & Air Conditioning departments.

The tour was led by Peter Norris (Chair of the College Governing Body), Derek Whitehead (Principal & CEO of Leeds College of Building), and Nikki Davis (Vice Principal – Teaching, Learning & Quality). Mr Stephenson heard about the challenges the College and FE Sector deal with and the tremendous growth in apprenticeships the College now accommodates (2,800) from Level 2 to Degree Apprenticeships.

Andrew Stephenson MP said:

“It was a pleasure meeting the staff and students at Leeds College of Building – learning first-hand about the vital skills and courses on offer, which will play a crucial role in helping the country build back better and greener.

“We are committed to Levelling Up all parts of the UK and these apprenticeships will help fill the essential skills gap and transform the country by providing invaluable, practical on-the-job training for the people of Leeds.”

Derek Whitehead, CEO & Principal of Leeds College of Building, said:

“We were delighted to welcome the Minister to our fantastic facilities, used for construction and built environment training at all levels including apprenticeships. Our courses, which embrace new technologies and zero-carbon agendas, are producing the talent needed to fill essential skills gaps and support the UK’s transport infrastructure. We are proud that our students and apprentices, with support from employers, go on to work on major projects across the UK linked to vital road and rail networks and new transportation schemes.”

Leeds College of Building opened phase two of the South Bank Campus in 2019 after a £11.9m investment from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP), delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal. The funding provided world-class education and training facilities for students and the construction industry to help meet growing sector needs and skills gaps.


This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of Leeds College of Building

Photo: Andrew Stephenson MP (left) and Derek Whitehead, CEO and Principal of Leeds College of Building (centre) with a student at the South Bank Campus by