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Home > News > October 2006 > 05 October 2006

Minister visits sporting excellence apprentices

Skills minister Phil Hope MP has visited Richard Huish College in Taunton to present awards to the first students in the country to complete the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence programme (AASE).

The Minister began his visit at a local golf club, picking up tips from professional golfers and students, while finding out about how AASE has improved prospects for students enrolled on the course.

He then visited the college itself to tour its facilities, including a newly opened sports dome.

AASE was developed by SkillsActive (the Sector Skills Council for active leisure and learning), the Learning and Skills Council, and a number of governing bodies of sport.

It is designed to meet the needs of young people who have the 'realistic potential to achieve excellence in their sport and are seeking to perform at the highest level as their main career goal.'

SkillsActive's chief executive, Stephen Studd, who also attended the event said: "Phil Hope's visit to Taunton to highlight the success of AASE is evidence that skills in sport are key in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond. We hope to continue rolling out AASE across the country in more sports given the success of the programme so far."

The minister spoke to an invited audience about the AASE programme and the government's commitment to skills development and apprenticeships, before presenting certificates to successful students from Richard Huish College (golf), Solihull College (golf) and Brockenhurst College (football).

He said: "Spending the day with the students and staff at Richard Huish College has given me a real insight into how employers, training providers and SkillsActive are working together to improve the skills of future athletes and close the skills gap in the active leisure and learning sector.

"The success of programmes such as AASE proves the commitment that people across the sector have to shaping skills in the sector."

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