A new technical college for Portsmouth can only be a good thing.
When we routinely hear about the low number of students taking the Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – anything that offers young people the opportunity to get involved should be encouraged.
The University Technical College is a missing piece of the education jigsaw here in Portsmouth.
With scores of places for students from year 10 upwards, the college will specialise in electrical and mechanical engineering, and advanced manufacturing.
The creation of UTCs is a nationwide initiative, with 39 already open across the UK, and according to their figures ‘not one person leaving the UTC has entered the NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) population, a statistic that UTCs are immensely proud of and will work hard to maintain.’
This is extremely positive news and a timely counter to those who think that ‘the youth of today’ don’t want to work.
This shows that with the right opportunities and incentives, young people are only too happy to work hard.
With the loss of the dockyards there has been a very legitimate concern about the loss of highly skilled workers from the region.
Of course, we have lost decades of experiences from those workers who were forced to leave the region in search of work. But this college will go some way to helping redress that loss.
Talk had initially been of opening in September 2016, but this has now slipped back to September 2017.
Obviously there are further hurdles before those first students start their classes, but we can only hope there will be no further delays.
And let us also hope that the local jobs are there for them when they finish their courses.