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Preston bids for £10m skills boost

04 October 2013

Press Office

UCLan backs city’s University Technical College proposal 

Equipping young people with skills to forge new careers and drive economic growth is at the heart of Preston's bid for a new University Technical College in the City.

Backed by University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Visions Learning Trust, Training 2000, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Preston City Council, the £10M bid has been made to the Department for Education.

Focusing on construction, civil engineering, interior design and architectural technology, the new University Technical College would give young people aged 14-19 the skills required to meet the needs of modern day employers.

Complementing Preston & Lancashire's £400M city deal programme, the bid for a University Technical College was welcomed by Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston Council who said:

"Over the next 10 years Preston and Lancashire is set for major economic growth, construction and development. The opportunities are tremendous, but we need to help young people get the skills required to meet this demand and build successful careers for the future.

“Preston is a perfect place for a new University Technical College. It is the engine for economic growth in Lancashire and beyond, even more so now with the £400M city deal that is planned.”

“We are looking at 20,000 new jobs, 17,420 new homes and over £1billion added to the local economy so we have to start planning for the future now. The University Technical College led by UCLan is a great place to start.”

Rod Dubrow-Marshall Pro Vice-Chancellor at UCLan added:

"UCLan has a fantastic reputation and track record in academic excellence. We are one of the biggest universities in the UK and a destination of choice for many thousands of young people to study and start their careers.

“Preston is a perfect place for a new University Technical College. It is the engine for economic growth in Lancashire and beyond, even more so now with the £400M city deal that is planned.

“That's why we want to bring our experience, skills, abilities and academic clout into establishing a new technical college in the city. It is a wonderfully exciting project to be involved with and we are putting in every effort into making the bid successful.”

“Today's young people are tomorrow's workers and we have a duty to provide them with the support and skills necessary to capitalise on future economic growth and the jobs that will be created.”

Babs Murphy from the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce added:

"We are right behind this bid as it is exactly what employers are crying out for. There is a skills gap which will only get wider if we don't do something about it now.

“New businesses, offices, homes, roads and infrastructure will all be built in the Preston area over the next 10 years. Today's young people are tomorrow's workers and we have a duty to provide them with the support and skills necessary to capitalise on future economic growth and the jobs that will be created.”