MP opens new £10,000 ICT suite at club
Newmarket MP Matthew Hancock has officially opened a new £10,000 ICT suite aimed at helping stable staff develop their key skills.
The Conservative MP performed the ribbon-cutting honours at Newmarket’s New Astley Club on Friday before representatives from various groups involved with the facility’s installation.
The suite is the idea of the National Association of Stable Staff (NASS) and has been funded by Government body Union Learn.
“The installation of the ICT suite is the beginning of the second phase of the building development and sets us on a path to achieving the vision of a one-stop shop community hub for stable staff in Newmarket,” said Matt Mancini, community development director of the New Astley Club.
“We are delighted that the Astley Club can now offer this facility to its members and are very grateful for the funding from Union Learn that has enabled us to install this suite.”
Housing six laptops and six desktop computers, the new suite will be used to hold 15-week courses, the first of which is already under way, combining lessons in ICT, maths and English.
On completion of the course, which will be led by tutors from the City of Bristol College, each participant will be awarded a qualification equivalent to an A grade at GCSE level.
“Many stable staff have long and successful careers in the racing industry but it’s tough work and some are forced to look into other options to help them get a mortgage or to look after a family,” said Kevin Parsons, project manager.
“Our Functional Skills courses aim to give racing staff the necessary skills should they ever feel they need to leave this way of life.”
If the Newmarket centre proves popular, plans have been drawn by NASS to create similar projects in Lambourn and Middleham.
“We’re keen to support racing staff at all levels in their careers and we hope this new facility at the New Astley Club is the first of several around the country,” said George McGrath, chief executive of NASS.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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