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Further afield

First Commons apprentice wades into Westminster

The House of Commons's first apprentice began work on Monday in the office of Conservative Harlow MP Rob Halfon. Andy Huckle, 20, will study a level 3 qualification in business administration while working four days a week in Westminster. Mr Huckle left Harlow College with three B grades at AS- level in order to take on a full-time job, but will now take a pay cut to get the experience and training of an apprenticeship. He was chosen from 19 applicants in an assessment involving interviews, written work and a presentation. Mr Huckle wrote about Martin Luther King and presented on "how the Coalition is protecting the poor" in order to win the role.

Deloitte chair helps ease young into working world

The chairman of accountancy firm Deloitte joined FE minister John Hayes in visiting Lambeth College on Monday as part of a campaign to help young people understand the world of work. David Cruickshank was one of several company bosses who took time out to speak to young people as part of the Education and Employers Taskforce campaign. Mr Cruickshank said: "The country is in a period of uncertainty and many young people will be fearful about the next stage of their lives. This is one way that schools, employers and the Government can help them take these important next steps and understand their career options by working together to bring the world of work to life."

Ofsted says students should tool up with taster courses

Taster courses at school and careful screening and testing make it more likely that apprentices will finish their courses, an Ofsted report has said. "Learning From the Best" focused on successful providers in otherwise badly performing vocational areas to try and explain why some industries such as care and construction had improved success rates while others, such as retail and hospitality, lagged behind. Christine Gilbert, Ofsted chief inspector, said: "One of the keys to a successful apprenticeship is careful assessment and selection of the candidates to ensure they are well suited to the training on offer. After this, careful induction and tailored learning plans help ensure there is high-quality learning provision in the workplace."

College bowled over by cricket club construction offer

Derby College has struck a deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board for its construction students to help local cricket clubs upgrade their facilities. The students at the academy in Ilkeston will start by refurbishing a pavilion at Long Eaton, near Nottingham. Glyn Stenson, assistant principal, said: "It is vital that students gain real-life work experience and put the theory and practical skills into practice on site. It is brilliant that they can combine this work experience with helping cricket clubs which are run by volunteers and are a very important part of local communities."

Holmes helps get elite athlete centre up and running

Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes joined Loughborough College at the launch of plans for an Elite Athlete Performance Centre to provide bespoke training and education for the stars of tomorrow. Principal Jim Mutton unveiled the plans in order to cement the college's reputation for developing top performers in sport, such as Liam Tancock, a former student who won gold in swimming at the Commonwealth Games.

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