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11 March 2015, 07:13 | Updated: 11 March 2015, 07:15
A £6 million technical college is going to be created in Portsmouth to train the marine engineers of the future.
Led by University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council, the University Technical College will open in September 2016. It is expected to provide the city and region with a steady number of young people with skills sought by employers. The project has significant support from the Royal Navy, BAE Systems, QinetiQ, Airbus, Pall Europe and Ben Ainslie Racing.
Today’s news means that from September 2016 students aged between 14 and 19 will have the opportunity to study at a 'hands-on' technical college alongside a traditional academic education. It is anticipated that around 75 year 10 students and 100 year 12 students will enrol in the first year.
Portsmouth's UTC will specialise in electrical and mechanical engineering and in advanced manufacturing.
University of Portsmouth Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) Professor Paul Hayes welcomed the news. He said:
“This successful bid is the culmination of many months of hard work by the team. UTC Portsmouth will offer an exciting curriculum and excellent employment and university prospects for pupils.
“We now need to recruit the Principal and other senior staff to lead the College through its development and we are actively searching for exceptional individuals to take on these roles.”
City of Portsmouth Boy's School is the proposed shared site for the UTC which will operate separately to the current school.
UTCs are government funded schools that offer 14-19 year olds the opportunity to specialise in technical education alongside general education.
There are currently 30 UTCs open across the country and by 2016 more than 55 will be in operation. They teach technical and scientific subjects in a new way and aim to educate the inventors, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow. They promote a more integrated approach to practical and academic learning and a distinguishing feature is the involvement of employers in the delivery of the curriculum, especially through mentoring, work placements, support for teachers and project opportunities for pupils.
David Williams, Portsmouth City Council chief executive said:
"This has been a real partnership effort, with a variety of organisations and local businesses making every effort to secure Portsmouth's bid.
"The UTC will provide Portsmouth with a tremendous educational asset and a sub-regional centre for maritime, marine and advanced engineering training. Most importantly, it will give our young people the opportunity to develop their skills, aptitudes and readiness for work.
"This is an exciting new dimension to our educational offer."
Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said:
"This is one of the biggest education developments in recent years, which will directly improve the future of our city's young people. They will be taught by leaders in the field and will hopefully become the best candidates for specialist jobs.
"It will boost the profile of the city, which will have additional economic benefits for Portsmouth and the wider area."
Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC DL, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff said:
“Portsmouth is strategically important to our maritime nation. Home to the Royal Navy, it is also a national hub for defence industry and other key engineering companies. So I am delighted that today’s technology-fuelled Royal Navy is actively involved in UTC Portsmouth and we look forward to working with our partners to establish this unique and exciting opportunity for young people in the Portsmouth area.
"The talented students produced by this college will benefit not just the region, but also our country, as they contribute to national growth in the engineering sector.”
The bid was approved by the Department for Education.