Home / News / “Inspirational” – Leader of the Labour Party praises Burnley College Students and Themis Apprentices for their unrivalled “support of industry”

“Inspirational” – Leader of the Labour Party praises Burnley College Students and Themis Apprentices for their unrivalled “support of industry”

The Leader of the Labour Party has praised “inspirational“ Burnley College students for their ambition and commitment – and the College for its facilities and unrivalled support of industry.
Sir Keir Starmer made Burnley College his base for a packed day in East Lancashire as he met Students, Apprentices, business-leaders and party members – accompanied by Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities.
Sir Keir spent the morning at Padiham business What More UK, leading plastics manufacture, where he met some Themis Apprentices – which he said brought back memories:


My dad was a toolmaker and worked in manufacturing all his life. That’s very important to me because I saw how hard that work is, and the pride and dignity that it brought.
One of the great things we saw looking at the manufacturers and the businesses here, was seeing toolmakers – some of whom were here at Burnley College starting their own Apprenticeships – doing the modern version of what my dad used to do.

Keir Starmer

Leader of the Labour Party

Keir continues:

“It was a real trip through memory lane, and a fantastic example of what this College is able to produce to continue that tradition of skilled manufacturing.”

The day culminated with a Town Hall style meeting where a wide-range of members of the local community were invited to join the discussion.
As the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir also spent half an hour in discussion with Law students about his career:

“It’s been fantastic to be with the students here today. Some have come in even though it’s half-term to have discussions with me.”
“We just had a half an hour session with some of the students doing law. There was a whole variety of questions that were really probing and intelligent.”
“It was brilliant and inspirational to see. I met students who are in here doing their studies and out there in businesses around Burnley. I’ve seen almost the whole journey.”

Sir Keir Starmer shares his experience of being a barrister with Burnley College Law students.

He was also impressed with our unrivalled industry-standard facilities:

“The facilities here are fantastic. I think that sends a very powerful message to students which is ‘We are investing in you.’”
“You are the future and therefore we have facilities which match your ambition as students.”
“Across Burnley you get a sense of that ambition. You don’t have to look far for it.”


“At Burnley College we pride ourselves on our links to industry and our drive to ensure every student is given the opportunity to excel and pursue their career ambitions.”
“To be able to show the people of Westminster our passion and our commitment to the highest levels of education, our unrivalled connections to industry and our exceptional facilities is fantastic.”
“It’s been an amazing day and I’d like to thank everyone involved, from Sir Keir through to the students who gave up their half terms to join him today.”

Karen Buchanan

Principal, Burnley College

We interview Sir Keir Starmer on his visit to Burnley College


Jude Pearson

Former pupil at St John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School