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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Meeting demand for skilled, motivated people

IT IS now six months since The University of Manchester took ownership of its new £20million research base at Westlakes Science & Technology Park.

Since arriving we have hosted numerous visits by leading international universities and industrial organisations and, during the course of these visits, two consistent messages have been fed back to us.

The first is how fortunate we are to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world. The second is that there is a growing international recognition of the scale of energy-related opportunities in West Cumbria and, crucially, the awareness that we have the people and infrastructure to take advantage of these opportunities.

The ongoing challenge in meeting an ever-growing demand for secure supplies of safe, clean and affordable energy just so happens to require the skills, expertise and facilities abundant in our communities.

The scale of investment and extended timescales associated with new energy programmes mean that opportunities, even based on existing technologies, extend many generations into the future.

In order to make the most of these opportunities, however, it is necessary for education providers to work together, and with industry, to supply the considerable expected demand for highly skilled and motivated people. Through the Energy Coast Campus Programme, the university is committed to working closely with other education providers in West Cumbria and putting together the best possible offer for young people wanting to live and work in the area.

Simply, we aim to provide students with the opportunity and support required for them to acquire the qualifications and experience needed to match their ambition.

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