Highbury College to play vital role in shale gas skills

Minister for Portsmouth Matthew Hancock at Airbus
Minister for Portsmouth Matthew Hancock at Airbus
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HIGHBURY College will play a key role in a new national college for onshore oil and gas, the Minister for Portsmouth has announced.

The development is being jointly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the onshore oil and gas industry.

Its headquarters will be in Blackpool, with Highbury College in Portsmouth one of only three colleges represented, and the only training provider in the south of England.

It will deliver a number of accredited courses to help boost the number of people with skills required by the industry.

City minister Matthew Hancock MP announced the move to help develop a UK shale industry.

He said: ‘Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on.

‘Highbury is brilliantly placed to arm people with the skills they need to be shale specialists, help provide career opportunities for thousands of young people, boost the power and competitiveness of our firms and help the UK economy remain strong and competitive.

‘The expertise that Highbury College can deliver to the project will ensure that the whole country benefits from the work being done here in Portsmouth.’

The college is developing a partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada, an acknowledged global leader in this industry.

Stella Mbubaegbu, principal and chief executive of the college, said: ‘This announcement means Highbury will play a vital role in developing a highly-skilled British workforce for the onshore energy sector, as well as bringing a wealth of opportunities to the region’s young people.

‘I believe our selection for this very significant initiative reflects our commitment to being a world-class provider of knowledge and skills-based training, at the forefront of developing the workforce of the 21st century.’