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Government Minister Chairs Sixth Form Question Time

Government Minister Phil Hope led a Student Question Time at Corby Business Academy this morning.

Government minister Phil Hope led a Student Question Time at the CBA this morning.

CBA sixth form students were joined by their peers from Moulton College, Stamford College and Ise Community College for the economy based question and answer session which took place in the small theatre.

The students put hard hitting questions to the high profile panel which was made up of the Chair of East Midlands Development Agency Bryan Jackson; the Regional Director of the Learning and Skills Council Tom Crompton and Regional Director of Job Centre Plus, Karin Foulds.

Topics included student fees and loans, the budget, tax relief for parents whose children attend university and the debt the country has taken on in recent months to try and stabilise the economy.

CBA Sixth form student Derrick Dick asked the panel about how the current recession will affect the ability for students to receive loans.

He said: "I found the event really useful and it we were given some interesting information by the panel about plans for the future."

During the Q&A, Corby MP Phil Hope, who is the East Midlands regional minister as well as Care Minister congratulated CBA students on their enterprise initiatives.

After the 45 minute session he said: "I am delighted to return to this Academy which I last visited with during the Prime Minister's official opening.

"I've faced many testing questions from the media throughout my political career, as well as those in the Houses of Parliament, but today's questions were among some of the toughest I've ever faced!  They were insightful, well-crafted and created a real buzz."

"These young people take a real interest in economic and employment issues affecting them. This is very encouraging as they will help shape the future of our economy, so it is vital that they have a voice."

Sixth Form Vice Principal Avril Bartley Smith said: "The questions were perceptive and challenging for the panel answer. The students had clearly thought through the impact the current recession has had on them and the impact it may have in the future once they leave full time education."

The Q&A followed a Regional Economic Cabinet meeting which was held at the North Northants Development Company in Corby.

As well as the important panel members, the local media ,including the Northants Evening Telegraph and BBC Radio Northampton attended the event.

Issues such as the recent Budget were discussed and its implications for the region.  The minister also met with members of the local business community at a breakfast meeting at the same venue.