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  1. ITV Report

Airport college to address 'growing skills gap'

What the college would look like at Stansted Airport. Credit: Artist's impression.

A new £11m college is to be built at Stansted Airport to train up its workforce of the future.

The site - which has been given planning permission - aims to create a new generation of skilled workers.

Courses will concentrate on subjects like science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as training students in areas more specific to an airport environment including logistics, hospitality and customer service.

The college at Stansted wants to create more skilled workers, like these engineering apprentices. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

Working with Harlow College, Stansted hopes the college will provide it with the staff it needs to reach its target of welcoming 44 million passengers a year.

Andrew Cowan, Stansted Airport's chief executive, said the college would "address the growing skills gap in engineering and customer service and develop a pipeline of employees fit for growth at the airport over the next decade".

Andrew Cowan, chief executive. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"This is excellent news for everyone connected to Stansted Airport and Harlow College. Securing, developing and retaining the right talent and skills at a growing airport like Stansted is critical to our business and the long-term prosperity of the region.

"A project like this will provide more opportunities for local people to acquire the skills they need to join us as we play an ever more critical role in providing runway capacity in the south-east of England."

– Andrew Cowan, Stansted Airport chief executive.

The two-storey building - which Stansted says will be the first of its kind at a major UK airport - will be constructed on a one-acre plot of land near the long-stay car park and Novotel Hotel.

The project has received two separate £3.5m grants from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Local Growth Fund and Essex County Council.

Will Allanson, Vice-Principal at Harlow College, said now that planning permission had been secured, he hoped the site would be ready to welcome its first students in September next year.

The college is expected to train more than 500 students at a time and will offer a mixture of technical courses, traineeships and apprenticeships.

Stansted wants to lift its cap on passenger numbers to 44 million. Credit: ITV News Anglia.