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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Government gives cash for university technical college in west Cumbria

West Cumbria is to get one of the Government’s new ‘university technical colleges’.

utc
An artist's impression of how the west Cumbria University Technical College will look

The college at Lillyhall, near Workington, will be the first in the UK to specialise in energy.

Students aged from 14 to 19 will be taught about energy sources including nuclear, wind, tidal, hydro, biomass, anaerobic digestion and solar, as well as national curriculum subjects. They will also learn about green construction techniques.

The state-funded college is due to open by 2018 and have 500 students.

Schools Minister Lord Hill today named west Cumbria as one of 15 successful bids to establish university technical colleges. Each will receive a £10m grant.

All will have specialisms relevant to their local area and have links to universities and businesses. The aim is to offer pupils a technical and engineering focus alongside academic study.

Britain’s Energy Coast Campus was behind the west Cumbrian bid. The college will be known as The Britain’s Energy Coast University Technical College.

Programme director Rob Rimmer said the announcement was “an enormous vote of confidence” in west Cumbria.

He added: “We are delighted that our application has been successful.

“A university technical college will help us create the skilled and qualified workforce needed to make this area one of the most important for energy in the UK.”

The bid was supported by the University of Cumbria, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Lakes College and GEN II Training, and had the support of MPs Tony Cunningham and Jamie Reed.

Cath Richardson, principal of Lakes College, said that new institution would provide “an excellent and distinctive additional progression route for learners”.

The 15 colleges announced today will join a network of 17 due to open this September or next.

Others include one near Heathrow Airport specialising in aviation engineering and another at Salford near MediaCityUK complex, which houses BBC North.

Lord Hill said the colleges would boost both pupils and the economies of the areas where they are located.

He said: “They provide more choice as well as helping provide the kind of highly skilled technicians our economy needs. The response from employers speaks for itself.”

Pupils can start at either 14 or 16, and will spend 60 per cent of their time on core academic subjects and 40 per cent on specific technical skills and qualifications.

Have your say

As a person on the wrong side of Fifty I would not mind being allowed access to the funding to re-skill myself. All the funding is directed to the youngsters without considering other older age groups who would be most likely to stay with companies that employ them.

Posted by Bolverk on 30 May 2012 at 21:39

Britains energy coast..and the jobs are where ? who is benefiting ? the 10 million would have been better spent on the existing schools..some crumbling away through lack of funds..and when our youngsters are armed with all the new knowledge they will be able to take the skills out of the county and the country no doubt..as there arnt the jobs in west cumbria to keep them here..I agree Neil another thinly veiled bribe..

Posted by Glennys Wiggin on 30 May 2012 at 08:54

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