Cumbria is to get its first ever University Technical College. At present there are only two in the whole country but it's hoped to have 34 nationwide by 2014. The schools are aimed at 14 to 19 year olds, they must be sponsored by a university and local employers who must be involved, from the start, in framing the curriculum. The school day will run from 8:30am to 5:30pm providing a mix of academic and technical studies. The new Cumbria school is connected to the Energy Coast project. The Education Minister Lord Hill welcomed the news saying it would be a great boost to energy jobs locally.
UTCs integrate technical and academic learning in a workplace like environment, giving young people the skills they need to take advantage of career opportunities in their UTC specialist industry or an alternative route into University and further education. In West Cumbria, 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, the Programme Director for Britain’s Energy Coast Campus, explained to ITV Border that the successful application shows confidence in the area:
He also explained what kinds of students they will be expecting and the time frame they'll be working to.
With the announcement by the Government of West Cumbria’s success in the UTC application process, Britain’s Energy Coast Campus will soon begin to consult widely, including with the local community, schools and businesses, on the development of the UTC before contracts with the Department of Education are finalised in the autumn.
Rob Rimmer added:
Mike Smith, Chief Executive for GEN II Training, said:
Cath Richardson, Principal for Lakes College West Cumbria added:
Liz Beaty, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria, said: