New Technical Colleges Linked To Jaguar Land Rover And Virgin Atlantic

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Fifteen new university technical colleges linked to firms including Jaguar Land Rover and Virgin Atlantic are to open within two years, the government said on Tuesday.

Around 200 employers are linked to the new institutions, which offer pupils aged 14 to 19 a technical and engineering focus alongside academic study.

The 15 new state-funded colleges are all linked to institutions including universities and businesses and will open in 2013 and 2014. They will join a network of 17 UTCs due to open this September or next.

Each of the colleges is focused on a local industry or trade - with a UTC near Heathrow centred on aviation engineering, and another in Salford close to the MediaCityUK complex, which houses BBC North and other media firms.

Schools Minister Lord Hill said the new colleges would be a boost for both pupils and the economies of each area where they are to be created.

He said: "I am very pleased to be announcing another wave of strong UTC proposals. Right around the country there is a lot of enthusiasm from employers, universities, pupils and parents for high quality rigorous technical education.

"They provide more choice for children as well as helping provide the kind of highly skilled technicians our economy needs.

"The response from employers to UTCs speaks for itself."

Each of the colleges will take about 600 students and are an additional institution in each of the broad catchment areas in which they are created.

Pupils can elect to study at the UTCs at either 14 or 16.

Curriculums include about 60% of material on core academic subjects via GCSEs and A-Levels, and 40% on specific technical skills and qualifications.

The technical side is tailored by the locally involved company and university.

Among the new wave of UTCs is Warwick, which will offer business education, on business hours, to 640 pupils alongside the University of Warwick and Jaguar Land Rover.

In Cambridge, a UTC will focus on biomedical and environmental science and technology, with input from Cambridge University Health Partners, local business and Cambridge Regional College.

Elstree UTC in Hertfordshire will train 600 pupils in two specialisms - entertainment technologies and crafts, and electronic engineering and digital technology.

UTCs are also to be established in Swindon, Bluewater, Barking and Dagenham, Norfolk, Harlow, Lincoln, Coventry, Birkenhead, Liverpool and Cumbria.

Two UTCs are already open, the JCB Academy in Staffordshire, and the Black Country UTC in Walsall. 17 are in the pre-opening phase, with three due to open in September.

The Government target was to have 24 UTCs approved by 2014/15 and following Tuesday's announcement the Department for Education said 32 will be either open or in the pipeline.


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