Engineering fellows honoured in London presentation

Department of Innovation, Universities & Skills Minister, Bill Rammell gave a much-needed boost to the profile of Further Education on Wednesday 9 January, delivering the keynote address at the annual awards ceremony of the New Engineering Foundation (NEF) at the Institute of Directors, London

Rammell, who set out the government's vision for the role of UK vocational education in a high-skills, high-technology, global economy, said: "The role of further education in this country is absolutely crucial. The FE sector contributes particularly to enterprise, skills and workforce development."

Alongside Rammell, broadcaster and former 'Tomorrow's World' presenter Maggie Philbin presented awards recognising the achievements of NEF fellows. The fellowship comprises further education science and technology lecturers who - with the help of a £10,000 bursary from the foundation - have spent time in local businesses to boost their experience and expertise and enhance the learning experience for their students. Companies hosting the educators were also recognised for their invaluable role in supporting this knowledge and technology transfer process.

Presenting a film of secondary school pupils talking about their perceptions of and aspirations for science and technology study, Philbin called on businesses to inspire potential engineers "to do everything to make science, engineering and technology real" through high-profile projects such as the London 2012 Olympics.

NEF chief executive Sa'ad Medhat said: "Knowledge and technology transfer between colleges and businesses provides a firm skills foundation for local communities, regional economies and the nation as a whole. It is a great tribute to the dedication of the teachers and employers involved in the NEF Fellowship Scheme that Bill Rammell and Maggie Philbin have saluted their work today."

Image: NEF fellows at the ceremony at the Institute of Directors [Photo: Nick Smith]

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