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Monday, 06 July 2015

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University Technical College joins forces with Royal Navy

West Cumbria’s new University Technical College will become the first in the country to join forces with the Royal Navy.

The navy has agreed to be an employer partner to the Lillyhall college.

Students at the new £10 million campus, on Jubilee Road, will be given the chance to train for a career in the navy.

They will focus on engineering and nuclear related topics while, at the same time, developing problem-solving and leadership skills.

Gary Jones, college principal, said he always wanted to get the armed forces on board with the project.

He added: “The Royal Navy struggles to get young people with the right skills and training, it often comes at a great cost implication for them.

“We will represent that skills route through the training undertaken at the college.

“Our students will learn everything it takes to be in the navy from electrical and mechanical engineering skills to teamwork and leadership experience.”

He also said the college’s nuclear remit, its proximity to the coast and nearby defence work in Barrow, proved attractive features for the Royal Navy’s decision to work with the college.

There are also plans to host activities and visits from the navy to support learning and understanding of careers in the service.

Mr Jones added: “Around 10 per cent of our students want to go on to develop careers in the forces so this backing from the navy has been a brilliant development.

“It means that if and when our students come to leave the service, they will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to move on to opportunities in civilian life.”

Other employer partners include Sellafield, Cockermouth’s James Walker, Morgan Sindall and Workington’s Iggesund Paperboard.

Monday will see the hand over of the college from the contractors to the leadership team.

Staff will then move in to the building in preparation for the first intake of students next month.

The finishing touches are being carried out and around 140 students will walk through the doors on September 1.

They will be given the chance to take a look inside the new facility with their parents in the next few weeks before the start of term.

The technical college is now holding waiting lists for this September and has already achieved a 25 per cent recruitment rate for 2015.

Its ground floor includes a canteen, communal space, changing rooms, workshop and classrooms, and its first floor has laboratories, teaching space and management suite.

Students will also have use of two outdoor all-weather games areas and access to the neighbouring Lakes College via a footpath linking the two sites.


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