High-level, specialist skills were given a boost as the government announced details of nearly £80 million in funding to support the creation of 5 new National Colleges. The centres of high-tech training will ensure the UK has skilled people in industries crucial to economic growth – high speed rail, nuclear, onshore oil and gas, digital skills and the creative industries.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said “This is the investment in high-tech skills that businesses are crying out for. We have made it a priority to work with employers to deliver high-quality, technical education and clear routes to employment that deliver economic growth and create opportunities for our young people, and enable our existing workforce to up-skill and re-train for the jobs of the future.
The National Colleges have been designed with employers, for employers. They will produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.
The 5 National Colleges are as follows:
- National College for High Speed Rail (hubs located in Birmingham and Doncaster)
- National College for Nuclear (hubs located Somerset and Cumbria)
- National College for Onshore Oil and Gas (hub located in Blackpool)
- National College for Digital Skills (hub located in London; Tottenham Hale and Whitechapel)
- National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries (hub located in Purfleet, Essex)
The Colleges, which were confirmed in the Spending Review, have had to pass a detailed examination of their business plans and capital proposals to receive government funding which will help with the construction of new buildings and the purchase of equipment. Local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), industry bodies and businesses are also contributing towards the Colleges.
Development of the Colleges is firmly underway. The National College for High Speed Rail held ground breaking ceremonies at its Doncaster and Birmingham sites earlier today. The first Colleges will open in September 2016 with the network fully operational by September 2017.
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