Virendra Sharma MP, member for Ealing and Southall, visited Southall Community College this week to speak to English for Speakers of Other Languages students as part of the Association of College’s ‘Love Our Colleges’ week of activity.
Mr Sharma discussed the impact funding cuts pose on FE colleges and highlighted the important role they play in educating and providing opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds in preparation for life and work in the UK.
During his visit, Mr Sharma heard about ESOL students’ journeys to the UK. He also spoke about the UK parliamentary system and remarked on the enthusiasm and dedication of both adult and young learners in the college.
Speaking to over 200 learners, Mr Sharma shared his own journey from his arrival in the UK speaking very little English, to working as a bus conductor, to his election as Member of Parliament inspiring and motivating students to pursue their aspirations, make the most of their education and emphasizing the opportunities available to them.
He then invited debate during a Question & Answer session about the role of parliamentary representatives in local communities and other topics, including Brexit and climate change, focusing on local recycling facilities and environmental projects such as the Southall Clean Up campaign, in which West London College students participate annually.
The event was organised by Mandy Bahra, Head of Curriculum Skills Pathway. Mandy said: “It was a great privilege to welcome back Virendra Sharma MP and introduce him to our learners and the amazing work we do at West London College in supporting ESOL students to learn English and progress in their education. West London College is a top provider of ESOL courses in London. Courses focus on improving our students’ English speaking, listening, reading and writing and Maths up to GCSE level to prepare students for academic or employment progression.”