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Monday, 01 September 2014

Cumbrian college wants businesses to get involved in its development

Businesses have been urged to play an active role in the development of the University Technical College being planned for west Cumbria.

The college will be built at Lillyhall next to Lakes College. It is due to take its first students in 2014 and will eventually offer places for 500 young people between the ages of 14 and 19.

Mike Smith, chief executive of GEN II Training and a member of the new college’s board, says there are a number of ways for businesses to get involved.

He told members of the Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster that firms could: offer their advice to board members and help determine the skills taught and ethos of the college; offer high quality placements; give students access to specialist facilities; become members of the board or house sponsors.

Employers would also be able to give masterclasses and pass on their skills and expertise.

The first intake will be of around 100 14-16 year-olds, Mr Smith said, adding: “It might be that the first cohort of year 12s could be involved in the construction of a new build nuclear station and the year 10s could be the first employed to operate it.”

The UTC would focus on the skills gap identified by employers and highlighted in the recent report by Lord Heseltine, he said.

Mr Smith told our business website in-cumbria.com: “The skills demanded for this part of the world are phenomenal, but the UTC will reignite technical training.”

The college will offer a tailored education to 14 to 19 year-olds who will be taught a curriculum featuring English, maths and science along with construction, specialised engineering and design training. To find out more, email Maureen Palmer at Maureen. palmer@cumbria.ac.uk

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