An apprenticeships minister visited Bury College to review the success of her flagship policy on T levels.

Gillian Keegan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, came to the college to speak to students and staff.

The MP spoke to the college's IT, health and science students, and toured facilities and classrooms.

In her role, Mrs Keegan oversaw the introduction of T Levels, an alternative to A Levels with a greater focus on practical skills, in September 2020.

This year Bury College is delivering three T level courses this year in digital support services, education and childcare, and health.

Mrs Keegan said: "It has been incredibly rewarding to come down here to Bury College and witness the success of these courses that some students have only just started, eight days ago, and they are already so confident and knowledgeable which is a pleasure to witness.

"T-levels have been in the works for decades and they will be so important to make sure our young people go into the workforce with all the skills they need.

"The world has changed so much and we must ensure they have the right qualifications to go down the right pathway.

"People have misconceptions about colleges and think they may not be very academic, but when I come here and see the facilities I am very impressed."

Bury North MP James Daly said: "The current Conservative government is driving life forward for young people through these T-level schemes, which is very important and I am proud to be a part of that.

Christian Wakeford, MP for Bury South, added: "To have a minister who is so passionate about vocational education is fantastic, and it's great to come and see the impact it's having on the lives of these students."

Jessica Freeman, a student studying nursing, said: "So far, the course has been great and I have enjoyed every minute of it, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

"I have learnt so much and the experience I have gained will be so important."

Martin Attree, assistant curriculum manager of science and maths, said: "The exciting thing for us as staff is that we are also learning because it is so new for us.

"We have to make sure that we know what we are doing, but it has been a pleasure, and I am hoping it continues to be a success.

"It's an honour to have the minister and MPs come here today so that we can show off some of our amazing facilities."

Andrea Plimmer, the college's assistant director of health and social care, said: "It was a shame that over lockdown, students were not able to get out as much and gain experience.

"But we've recruited some fantastic students and the calibre of learners that we have now is excellent.

"I think T-levels are an excellent scheme and it's a very exciting time for students and staff like me who are excited to deliver this new curriculum and it has gone well so far."