The importance of further education and its role in supporting the life chances of Chesterfield students was the theme of a speech in Parliament by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

Toby was the Parliamentary speaker at a reception which focused on Celebrating Midlands Colleges and had approximately 200 attendees including students, governors and principals from more than 50 further education, sixth form and specialist colleges in the Midlands.

The event was organised in partnership with the Skills and Education Group, and hosted by the Baroness Garden, the reception was a unique opportunity for Midlands parliamentarians, business leaders and stakeholders to connect around the skills, productivity and growth agendas and mark the important work colleges do in supporting our local businesses to grow and communities to thrive.

The event highlighted that a new Youth Opportunity Index, published by the Learning and Work Institute, shows young people in the East Midlands have varying chances of success depending on where they live.

Young people living in the region’s cities have worse education and employment opportunities that those in the counties. Leicester, Nottingham and Derby are all in the bottom 20 of the 150 local education authorities included in the Index, while the counties perform much better.

Following this Toby attended the Westminster Hall debate on #loveourcolleges in response to a petition with over 70,000 signatures on college funding. Toby spoke about the great job that Chesterfield College do and the funding pressures that could lead to more redundancies and a narrower curriculum.

The speech can be found below

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