HARLOW College’s £11 million Harlow Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Centre (HAMEC) facility was described as “incredible” by Sajid Javid, Chancellor of Exchequer, when he visited staff and students, prior to the General Election in December.
During the visit, Mr Javid saw the marvels that the £11 million facilities brought to its students. On whether the funding for FE colleges was enough, Mr Javid said “Well, I went to an FE college myself so I realise the importance of it, so I think FE colleges do need funding.
“And if we get into power it’ll be one of our priorities, we are hoping to put £1.8 billion into FE colleges around England.”
Mr Javid added “This centre is incredible. A project like this, with a third of the funding coming from the government, it’s just what I want to see much more of.”
Karen Spencer, the principal of Harlow College, praised the Chancellor’s visit saying “I think any interest during an election period is very important. There seems a very large commitment in the funding of infrastructure for colleges like this.
“I think it’s something culturally fundamental we have to address. There are significant funding differences in education – FE colleges are often misunderstood and underfunded.”
Head of Technical Academy, Laura Wedgbury-Glew, talked about the important impact of further education: “I think because he’s been to an FE college, he understands how it changes lives. In terms of funding, we need more – places like this have taken the biggest hit.”
Tom Stokes, Head of HAMEC was delighted by the visit of Mr Javid “I think it’s important to show how we’ve spent the funding we’ve been given, but I think there needs to be more funding for FE colleges in general. But it was just wonderful to show people what we do here in HAMEC.”
Main photo: Robert Halfon and Sajid Javid centre with staff and students from HAMEC