Parents support plans for new technical college in Hilsea

Dave Goodall from BAE Systems, engineering undergraduate Seb McCue, project manager Fiona Haynes, and city council chief executive David Williams at the consultation
Dave Goodall from BAE Systems, engineering undergraduate Seb McCue, project manager Fiona Haynes, and city council chief executive David Williams at the consultation
PCSOs and police officers around Priory School this afternoon

Police speak to school after fight in Southsea play park

  • First consultation event for University Technical College took place at school site
  • Parents spoke in favour of the plans
  • Images of the building were on show for the public to see
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PARENTS have given their support to plans for a university technical college to be built in Portsmouth.

Plans are in place for a UTC to be built on the site of Trafalgar School in Hilsea.

It’s good to see that science and technology is being made more of a priority

Michelle Kane, parent

Last night was the first consultation evening at the site, where parents and members of the public were invited to share their views.

The college will educate 600 pupils aged between 14 and 19, specialising in engineering and mechanics.

Carolyn Edwards, 51, from Hilsea, has a 13-year-old son who is interested in going into the industry.

She said: ‘I think it’s a good idea.

‘The link to industries at a young age helps them focus on what they want to do.’

Information was offered including examples of the types of subjects pupils would be taught and school timetables.

And there was a student zone where youngsters had a chance to look at what they might learn.

Michelle Kane, 40, from Copnor, has a 15-year-old son, Alex. Michelle said: ‘It’s something that Alex is interested in.

‘It’s good to see that science and technology is being made more of a priority.

‘It’s the future. Everything is becoming technology based. We need to be able to move forward.’

Lee Moase, 46, from Burrfields Road in Copnor has a 14-year-old son, Owen. Lee said: ‘We wanted to have a look and see if it’s something he would consider as a career going forward.

‘The employers are probably more trusting if they know the kids have been through this route and they have had a direct background and had some direct teaching.’

The project is being supported by the University of Portsmouth, the Royal Navy and Portsmouth City Council., alongside engineering companies such as BAE Systems.

Fiona Haynes is the project manager and is a marine engineering officer for the Royal Navy.

She said: ‘This is going to be built on their doorstep so we think it’s important that they see what our plans are.

‘A UTC Portsmouth is brilliant for the area. We’ve got a lot of engineering employers in the area. We all need engineers. There is a nationwide shortage. We need to have homegrown engineers ourselves.’

The college is due to open in September 2017. The next open event is on Friday, September 18 at Havant Borough Council from 4pm until 6pm.