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A former education secretary who is leading a coalition campaigning for greater social mobility in the UK praised the University of Bolton as she toured its “fantastic” facilities.
The Rt Hon Justine Greening visited the University’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME) and the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, to see for herself how students are learning practically, preparing them for the world of work.
She said: “We have seen some wonderful cutting-edge technology which means that students at the University of Bolton are able to really get applied learning on motorsport science and engineering in a way that is second to none.”
Ms Greening, served as Secretary of State for Education in the Conservative government from 2016 to 2018 and stepped down as an MP in 2019.
She has since been appointed Chair of The Purpose Coalition, which is made up of the UK's most innovative leaders and organisations.
The most committed leaders who are signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge<https://socialmobilitypledge.org/> are working with Ms Greening in the Purpose Coalition, to set a new standard for organisations, with the aim of “breaking the cycle of Britain's endemic poor social mobility”.
Members of the Purpose Coalition include Amazon, UK Power Networks, BP, Pennon Group, The Adecco Group, the BBC, Channel 4, Shoosmiths, NHS Trusts, UK councils and a range of UK universities.
Ms Greening was shown around NCME and the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing by the University of Bolton’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Baroness Helen Newlove and Provost, Dr Zubair Hanslot.
Baroness Newlove said: “We have been working very closely with Justine on social mobility for some time and we wanted her to see for herself the fantastic facilities we have here at Bolton.
“We are determined that Bolton will have a voice. Social mobility is so important and we are delighted to be part of this.”
Ms Greening said: “As we come out of Covid and our lives steadily get back to normal, the work happening here at the University of Bolton becomes more vital than ever because it’s important that we really make a difference on levelling up. That is the purpose of this coalition work.
“These companies who work with us can be connected with universities to really make sure that the talent a university like Bolton is developing can get connected to all of those employment opportunities from pro-social mobility employers who are part of the coalition.”
She added: “The University of Bolton's Health Faculty has links with the council and the local NHS to turn out fantastic local health care professionals.
“Students have the chance to get all sorts of simulation training which means they can really hit the ground running on day one.
“We also visited the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering which is turning out some fantastic engineering talent for an industry that most of us don’t realise is based right here in the UK.”
Ms Greening added: “Having education on the doorstep, as I know from my own experience, is crucial.
“The University of Bolton has put fantastic education resources exactly where they are needed for a community like Bolton that has tonnes of talent but needs that talent developing so that it can provide the skills with its local community needs, particularly in places like the local NHS.
“There isn’t going to be a better version of Bolton’s future unless you have a university like Bolton that is able to upskill an entire community, and that’s exactly what it is doing.”
Dr Hanslot said: “We are delighted that the Rt Hon Justine Greening, accompanied by the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Baroness Helen Newlove, were able to have a good look at the University’s facilities.
“We very much look forward to continuing to work closely with the Purpose Coalition – improving social mobility is a strong focus for the University of Bolton.”