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Friday, 19 December 2014

West Cumbria UTC: Reaction and more detail of college plans

News that the west Cumbria is to get a new £10m University Technical College was today hailed as a major development for the area.

The Britain’s Energy Coast University Technical College (UTC) will be the first of its kind in the UK to specialise in energy and link to the national sustainability agenda.

This will mean giving students the unique opportunity of acquiring knowledge and qualifications specific to the energy sector and giving them the best possible start to a future career in the industry.

Rob Rimmer, Programme Director for Britain’s Energy Coast Campus, said: “We are delighted that our application for a UTC has been successful and West Cumbria has beenc chosen as one of the UK locations which will benefit from a massive investment in the shape of a new educational centre of excellence specialising in engineering and construction.

“Leading partners involved in the application including the University of Cumbria, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Lakes College West Cumbria and GEN II Training, really believe that this is an enormous vote of confidence in West Cumbria as Britain’s Energy Coast. A UTC will help us create the skilled and qualified workforce needed to make this area one of the most important for energy in the UK and achieve the ambitions of Britain’s Energy Coast.

“We are really pleased that our application proved that our vision has merit and as such now has the backing of the Department for Education. I would like to thank our local MPs Jamie Reed and Tony Cunningham for their support and the work with the Government on our behalf.”

Rob Rimmer added: “The Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster has been very supportive and we will expect their businesses now to work closely with us in shaping the UTC for their needs. What we can say however, is that our vision is for a UTC with 500 pupils by 2018 based at Lillyhall and serving West Cumbria, using the specialist facilities and training offered by GEN II/Energus and Lakes College. As well as teaching national curriculum subjects we envisage that the UTC will focus on subjects including nuclear, on and off shore wind farming, tidal and hydro, bio-mass, anaerobic digestion and solar energies and the developing fields in green construction techniques. These are all skills which will give this generation the opportunity to benefit from an increasing energy industry in this region.”

Mike Smith, Chief Executive for GEN II Training, said: “GEN II is fully committed as a sponsor of Britain’s Energy Coast UTC and will bring our significant experience and expertise in vocational training and education not only to enhance the work of the UTC, but also add considerable value to its learner’s experience and educational attainment.”

Cath Richardson, Principal for Lakes College West Cumbria added: “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.”

Liz Beaty, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria, said: "Developing progression routes for learners is a key aim for the University and the UTC model clearly offers a new opportunity to achieve this and a strong fit to meet the challenge of the future skills requirements of the energy industry in our region"

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