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Local Industry Leaders Launch Blackburn College’s Alumni Network

Date posted: 04th March 2024

A host of prominent alumni gathered at Blackburn College’s recently opened Industry Collaboration for the launch of its new Alumni Network.

The College has developed the initiative as part of its ongoing commitment to providing its students with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities they need to progress into successful careers.

Through the Alumni Network, it is calling on past students to commit to supporting these goals by working with the College to share their expertise to bolster the curriculum and provide crucial work experience within their own businesses for current learners.

It comes as the College continues to deliver an exciting £40m investment programme across the Blackburn Learning Quarter, including recent multi-million-pound cyber and digital, and health teaching facilities within the town centre campus.

At the uplifting launch event, students past and present shared their stories and recounted fond memories of inspirational lecturers, lessons learnt, and friendships forged.

Panel Host and editor of Lancashire Business View, Richard Slater, an ex-student, and past lecturer at the College, opened the evening by calling it the ‘start of a movement’ for those people who have taken great things from Blackburn College to the world to give back. 

Richard was joined on the panel by some of the region’s most prolific business leaders and ex-Blackburn College students, including: former WEC Director and Chair of Blackburn with Darwen Youth Zone, Wayne Wild; Paula Gill, Chair of the North West Aerospace Alliance; Ram Gupta of Nybble IT; Anthony Taylor from Empine Group and recruitment entrepreneur, Laura Hartley. All credited their experience at Blackburn College as an important building block in their success. Mo Isap from IN4 Group, a delivery partner for the Cyber First initiative, talked about his engagement with the College as a previous College Governor and now a cyber partner.

Addressing the room, Dr Fazal Dad, Principal and Chief Executive at Blackburn College said: “I’ve had the privilege of visiting many employers and businesses across the region in my time as Principal, and I hear wonderful stories about how the leaders within these businesses started their journeys at the College.

“We are incredibly proud of our ex-students. We see them as role models to inspire current and future generations to use education in the right way to follow in their footsteps. Everything we do at the College is to ensure that our curriculum has currency in the real world of work, and we are calling on our alumni to connect with the network and commit to supporting this mission.

“The aspiration of the young people within Blackburn with Darwen is phenomenal and businesses need to make opportunities visible so that young people can benefit from them. This is what we’re hoping to achieve through the Alumni Network.”

Current student and aspiring journalist Milly Hillman Nixon closed the event with a poignant message about her time at Blackburn College. She said “Don’t let silly factors like who you are and where you come from define you. It's about what you do and the work you do.”  

Alumni of Blackburn College are invited to join the Alumni Network Group on LinkedIn [LINK].

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