Clive Johnson, Labour General Election Candidate for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, today called for investment in a new Further Education College in Sittingbourne. Clive said, ‘I know from talking to young people, parents, and teachers as well as residents more generally, that local education is one of the key issues in this election. We need to raise educational standards in local schools, both primary and secondary, and we need to bridge the skills gap. The Oasis Academy, which continues in difficult circumstances, is key to the future of young people on Sheppey and it needs the support and investment which Labour’s plans for investment in local schools will bring, an extra £200,000 for this school alone. I want to see a wider range of vocational education at the Oasis Academy with strong links to the successful Sheppey College and a new FE college in Sittingbourne. I also want to see a new school in north Sittingbourne that is for 11-16 year olds, also working closely with a new FE college. All our young people need to have close links with the colleges from the age of 14 to ensure that they can take advantage of all the opportunities which these developments will bring. Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution will provide the skilled jobs with decent pay that will give our young people the incentive to aim high. In addition, encouraging island children to stay on the island for their education will relieve pressure on schools in Sittingbourne.
I know from my time working in FE how important this sector is in providing the skills which are needed by the local economy and ensuring that young people are ready to meet the needs of employers. These changes are vital for young people locally. The local economy needs many more people with craft skills, in construction, engineering, social care and tourism. Labour’s plans are exciting for Sittingbourne and Sheppey and I hope as MP to help transform the area into a prosperous and high skills economy, supported by an outstanding education system.’