City is targeted for new technical college for pupils

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PORTSMOUTH is being considered as a destination to host a new technical college to recruit more engineers.

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust is considering opening an employer and university-led school in the city called a UTC – a university technical college.

These offer 14 to 18-year-olds the opportunity to take a full-time, technically-oriented course of study.

They are sponsored by a university and offer clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in work.

The colleges offer an opportunity for education and business to come together and develop the skills that will be needed in the industry of the future.

Roger Salvetti is the chairman of the Education Working Group of Shaping the Future of Portsmouth.

He said: ‘In principle it’s a good idea.

‘It’s exactly what we want to embrace – getting skills taught and the opportunities given to people who would want to follow that route rather than the academic route.

‘There is definitely a need for it. It does require though, a lot of business resources.

‘If we want Portsmouth to be a world-class city we have got to encourage world-class businesses here.

‘We aren’t going to get that unless we can convince them we have got well-educated children with the skills they are asking for.

‘On the face of it, it seems to be a really good idea. But we have got to get businesses down here fired up to contribute and set the agenda and the curriculum.’

Nick Barnes is a development adviser from The Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

He said: ‘We are keen to investigate the possibility of an engineering or marine engineering-based UTC in Portsmouth.

‘It seems that Portsmouth is on the agenda at the moment.

‘I am engaging with employers and the local authority and the university to try and see if they can come together and see if we do need a UTC in this area. We will then help them through the bidding process.’

Businesses are being encouraged to come forward and declare their interest. Visit utcolleges.org.