Rt Hon Gerry Sutcliffe MP

Member of Parliament for Bradford South and Home Office Minister in the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Rt Hon Gerry Sutcliffe, completed his Junior Retail Trade Certificate at Bradford Technical College in the early 1970s and, as his career changed, later studied various Trades Union Studies programmes.

Gerry Sutcliffe“From 16 until I was 18, I worked as a trainee manager at Brown & Muff’s and first came to the College to study part-time for the Junior Retail Trade Certificate. I met my wife, Maria, who was then a trainee manager from the Coop, on the course. We have been married now for 35 years so I have a lot to thank Bradford College for.

I remember the window sets to practice display advertising and our tutor, Mr Frear. In those days the retail trade was very prominent in Bradford with big department stores like Busby’s, Christopher Pratt’s and Cresta House, as well as Brown & Muff’s and Sunwin House. We are now on the verge on having some big stores arrive in Bradford and all the staff will need training, so perhaps the College will develop courses for them.”

Gerry then moved into printing, working at the Telegraph & Argus. His involvement in politics developed via the printing union SOGAT while at Fields Printers. Gerry became the youngest full-time trades union official in the country. He was then elected a councillor and by 1992, he was the Labour Leader of Bradford Council. Gerry was elected Member of Parliament for Bradford South in 1994, following the tragic death of Bob Cryer. Increased responsibilities and promotions have seen him working in the Treasury and Whip’s office; becoming Consumer Affairs Minister at the Department for Trade & Industry; working at the Home Office and Ministry for Justice.

In June 2007 Gerry was made Sports Minister and in this capacity he will return to Bradford College in September 2008, to formally open the new Trinity Green Campus, which features extensive sports facilities for students and the local community.

“Bradford College has played a key role in my life; in personal terms, by introducing me to my wife, and via Trades Union Studies, in getting me started in my political career.”

Photograph supplied by the Rt Hon Gerry Sutcliffe MP