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11 October 2011, 15:40
A brand new type of college has been given the go-ahead allowing teenagers to study alongside, and inside, Formula One cars at Silverstone.
A University Technical College, will be based at the circuit - a giving youngsters expert tuition in motorsport engineering - alongside normal schooling.
It'll be a partnership between the Tresham College of Further and Higher Education, University of Northampton and Silverstone Circuits. The news comes after a government announcement to set up "The Silverstone Academy" - to allow up to 540 young people aged 14-19 to train for a career in Motorsport and High Performance Engineering or Event Management in realistic working environments at one of the UK’s most prestigious venues.
Paul Fletton, Acting Principal at Tresham, stated: "We have worked extremely hard with our partners, the University of Northampton and Silverstone Circuit and have received continued support from Northamptonshire County Council during the last 16 months to secure commitment from employers to establish a University Technical College for High Performance Engineering and Motorsport or Event Management."
Speaking to Heart, Robert Emergy from Tresham said: "It's going to be a longer school day, a longer school year. The whole emphasis will be about employability - understanding how the industry works. What a golden opportunity for young people to study motor sport engineering, and my goodness, doesn't UK plc need high performing engineers in future?"
Richard Phillips, Managing Director for Silverstone Holdings Ltd told Heart "It is vitally important that young people have the option to participate in good vocational education and I believe that by so doing, they can secure jobs in their chosen sectors. Tresham’s proposal is a shining example of this vision in action."
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton added "As a university with established teaching and research excellence in areas including high performance engineering, computing and numerous other science-focused and environmentally-based disciplines, we are delighted to co-sponsor important developments for young people within the county."
* Aylesbury - The Buckinghamshire UTC is due to open in 2013 and will specialise in IT and Specialist Construction and is supported by Buckinghamshire New University and Aylesbury College, plus a range of local companies.
* Houghton Regis - The Central Bedfordshire UTC, due to open in 2012 will specialise in Product Design and is supported by Cranfield University and the University of Bedfordshire, plus a range of local companies. 650 youngsters from a wide catchment area could be expected to attend from Milton Keynes in the north to Stevenage in the east.
* Northampton - The Daventry New Technologies UTC, due to open in 2012 in Northampton will specialise in Environmental Sustainability, Sustainable Construction and New Technologies in Engineering and is supported by Moulton College and a range of local companies.
Bedfordshire Southwest MP Andrew Selous told Heart today: "This is excellent news for young people in the area. These UTC's will offer teenagers practical and vocational training to new standards to help them, and employers in the region, the right skills for the local jobs market.