New technical colleges approved by government

University technical colleges have been approved for Birkenhead, Salford, west Cumbria and Liverpool as part of a national round of 15 UTCs confirmed on Wednesday.

The Government has now approved 34 UTCs in total to open over the next two years.

These new educational facilities are state-funded colleges aimed at filling skills gaps for technicians and engineers in growth sectors. The colleges will cater for 14 to 19-year-olds and follow curriculums shaped by local sponsor employers covering mainstream as well as technical subjects.

The North West UTCs announced this week are:

Birkenhead – Engineering – Supported by Cammell Laird, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Peel Group, Bibby Line Group, Stobart Ports, Mersey Ports, Mersey Travel, Wirral Council, Wirral Metropolitan College among others

Lillyhall, near Workington, Cumbria – Energy – University of Cumbria, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Lakes College West Cumbria, Gen II Training

Liverpool – Engineering and logistics in low carbon and ports – Cofely GDF Suez, Peel Ports, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Community College

Media City UK, Salford – Creative & Digital Industries and Entrepreneurship – The Aldridge Foundation, University of Salford, Salford City College, The Lowry, BBC, ITV, Adobe Systems

Birkenhead UTC steering group chairman John Syvret, chief executive of Cammell Laird, said: "This is terrific news for Merseyside and the North West. We have a clear aim: to create skilled well-paid jobs for young people. We know that youth unemployment is at crisis point. Equally we know there is a huge skills gap in the engineering sector, a UTC in the heart of Birkenhead will tackle those issues head on. We want to ensure that young people are fully prepared and ready for future opportunities by training them in their early to mid teens, not later. This will give them skilled jobs for life and help turbo charge our region's engineering and manufacturing sectors by injecting them with a consistent supply of new talent."

Cath Richardson, principal of Lakes College West Cumbria, said: "The Energy Coast is an important and valuable asset for the region and one which the College is committed to supporting. Britain's Energy Coast UTC will provide an excellent and distinctive additional progression route for learners and thereby a valuable opportunity for young people to achieve and contribute."

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