New £10m tech college to create 500 student places
Last updated at 20:03, Thursday, 31 May 2012
A new specialist technical college, providing 500 student places, is to be built at Lillyhall on land close to Energus and Lakes College.
The project, which will involve a new £10m building, will be the first of its kind in the UK specialising in courses linked to the growing energy sector.
The Britain’s Energy Coast University Technical College will teach 14 to 19-year-olds and will be up and running in time for 2014.
The plan was given the go-ahead by the Government on Tuesday following an application from Britain’s Energy Coast Campus.
It is one of 15 new state-funded ventures nationally announced under a government initiative to develop colleges relevant to local areas.
It will differ from traditional colleges, with students training in a work-simulated environment, in industry conditions, on real projects for local businesses.
Subjects will include nuclear, wind farms, tidal and hydro, bio-mass, anaerobic digestion, solar energies and green construction, alongside national curriculum topics.
Rob Rimmer, programme director for Britain’s Energy Coast Campus, said it would help to create a skilled workforce to make West Cumbria one of the most important areas in the UK for energy.
He said: “The site of the college is still to be decided but it will be built close to Energus, Lakes College and the new Britain’s Energy Coast Construction Skills Centre.
“It will offer a very different way of learning to young people, encouraging team working, leadership and communications skills.
“The college will be supported by employers, directly linked to industry.”
The bid was supported by the University of Cumbria, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Lakes College and Gen II Training, and had the backing of West Cumbria’s MPs Tony Cunningham and Jamie Reed.
Workington MP Mr Cunningham said: “If we are going to get a new nuclear power station, estimates for the build suggest it will create anything up to 10,000 new jobs.
“I want as many of those new jobs as possible to be filled by local people. If we are going to do that and attract new industry we have got to have a skilled workforce.
“This college will give people that opportunity. That’s got to be good news.”
However, headteachers in West Cumbria gave a cautious welcome to the announcement.
In a joint statement, the Western Consortium of Headteachers said: “We are encouraged that science, technology and vocational education is being supported in West Cumbria. However, we wish to see any new provision developed as part of a strategic, coherent, co-ordinated approach developed through local partnership and consultation.”
Today sees the start of work on the new £7m Construction Skills Centre at Lakes College.
It will house up to 600 students specialising in construction skills and is due to completed within 12 months.
l Comment – Page 10
First published at 19:23, Thursday, 31 May 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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Well done to all those who worked hard to get this Tech College to the area. Another jewel in the area's crown and provide excellent training and future prospects for the youth and others here.
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