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Able sponsored £11m Renewable Engineering College gets go ahead

The green light has been given to build the Humber’s first University Technology College (UTC). Backed by businesses in the region, the £11m investment will give young people the specialist skills they need for careers in the engineering and renewable energy industries.

The Humber UTC will be established in Scunthorpe and will create 70 new jobs, including 45 teaching posts. Work is expected to start this spring, and the UTC will open for business in September 2015. It is a state-funded school aimed at 14 to 19-year-olds, with significant input from businesses and education partners.

Students at the UTC will study traditional curriculum subjects including English, Maths and Science, and they will also learn extra skills that will prepare them for the world of work.
The Humber UTC will be overseen by a board including the following partners: Able UK, Tata Steel, Centrica Storage, Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, North Lincolnshire Council, the University of Hull, North Lindsey College and Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

The announcement comes soon after the government gave the green light to the £450m Able Marine Energy Park and will complement the energy skills opportunities recently announced by the Humber LEP.

David Shepherd, Group Development Executive for Able UK and Chair of the Humber UTC Board said: “The Humber UTC will give key employers the chance to take a direct approach and ensure the region’s people and businesses all get what they need.

“The Able Marine Energy Park has recently been granted planning permission by the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and will create over 4,000 direct jobs within the renewable engineering sector through the establishment of renewable engineering/manufacturing facilities.

“Companies across the Humber including Total, Centrica Storage, and Tata Steel already need skilled employees and are keen to recruit locally. The Humber UTC will ensure that schools and industry are connected and that local young people have the skills, knowledge and attitude that companies are looking for.”

An advisory group has also been set up representing the above organisations plus Team Humber Marine Alliance, who represent numerous small and medium enterprises across the Humber area, and Clugston Construction.

The board will soon appoint a project manager to ensure the project is delivered within budget and on time.

Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is further evidence of the confidence the government has in helping transform the whole of the Humber region. In December, we received excellent news about the new Able Marine Energy Park and now we’ve got the go ahead to create a modern learning centre for young people that will not only teach them the more traditional subjects, but prepare students for the world of work by specialising in engineering and renewables, equipping them with key skills.

I am delighted and excited at what lies ahead. It’s going to give young people a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills locally rather than having to travel further afield. It will also give businesses the chance to employ local people as they will have the skills needed.”

For media enquiries or to arrange interviews, please contact Sian Alexander at the University of Hull on 01482 466943 or email s.alexander@hull.ac.uk

Notes to Editors
UTCs are a new type of school for 14- to 19-year-olds, which deliver specialised technical education alongside academic subjects. They have two points of entry for students who can join a UTC at 14 or at 16 after their GCSEs.

The Humber UTC will function along the same lines as those already launched in other parts of the country and would be funded by the Department of Education. Nationally, 17 UTCs are already open.

The Humber UTC Board has worked on a development proposal for the UTC over the last 12 months. It submitted a bid to the Department for Education on 4 October 2013 and was successfully shortlisted to attend an interview as part of the second stage in the funding approval process. The interview took place 19 November 2013.

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