A ROYAL appointment saw HRH the Duke of York at Leeds City College’s Printworks Campus on Tuesday (March 4th).
The Duke of York officially declared the new campus open after an extensive tour of some of the on-site facilities with Principal Peter Roberts and Chair of Governors Neil McLean.
HRH, whose current portfolio is to assist with the creation of skilled jobs and the economic success of the United Kingdom and covers education and skills, science and engineering, and small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurship, was in the city as part of a wider tour to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week.
On his arrival at the campus, he was given a comprehensive tour of the food manufacture area, including patisserie, bakery, meat technology and cake decoration – where he was presented with two special cakes bearing his Royal Garter made to mark the occasion. He was introduced to apprentices, students and staff in each room, and showed an active interest in all the classes he visited.
He was then given a sneak preview of the next phase of the campus development with a visit into the Printhalls – where stabilisation and enabling works has already begun.
The Duke was finally led into the commercial block where he was invited to unveil a special plaque to declare the campus officially open.
“Having a member of the Royal family to officially open our new Printworks Campus was a memorable event for everyone involved including our students, staff and stakeholders,” Peter Roberts said.
“It was a great honour that The Duke of York was able to spend time with some of our apprentices from a broad range of sectors. It was particularly rewarding to see how genuinely interested he was in the breadth of opportunities that our apprenticeships offer from pre-16 preparation for work through to high level skills training in the workplace.”
Paris Kaye, 16, who is studying at the College 14+ Leeds Apprenticeship Academy, was among those introduced to HRH.
“He spoke to us about our personal experiences – what we are studying and how coming to the apprenticeship academy has made a difference and how we are getting on.”
Butchery apprentice Chris Broadbent, 17, who was recently named Best Learner in the Meat Industry 2013, and also chatted to HRH said: “The Duke was particularly interested in knowing more about how I became involved in butchery and how it has helped my skills development.”
The Duke then led a business lunch and debate with the LEP Board at the College’s Food Academy restaurant, to discuss LEP priorities for the region, visiting the kitchen to meet staff and students who had prepared and served his lunch before leaving.
His other appointments on the day included launching the Leeds City Region Apprenticeship Campaign at the LEP business conference at the Royal Armouries, which urges small and medium sized businesses to take on apprentices, as well as visiting Leeds College of Building and Leeds Civic Hall to congratulate some of the apprentice nominees and their employers attending the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards ceremony taking place that evening.
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