University Technical College in city will help fill a skills gap, says council

David Williams, chief executive of Portsmouth City Council
David Williams, chief executive of Portsmouth City Council
  • Chief executive says UTC will meet skills gap in city
  • School will educate 600 pupils
  • Also supported by University of Portsmouth and the Royal Navy
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A UNIVERSITY Technical College will fulfil a real need and help fill the national skills gap, the city council’s chief executive has said.

Plans are in place for a UTC to be built on the site of Trafalgar School in Hilsea and it will educate 600 pupils aged between 14 and 19, specialising in engineering and mechanics.

I think it will be tremendous for the city

David Williams, Portsmouth City Council

And David Williams has said Portsmouth City Council is fully behind it.

‘I think it will meet a number of key needs in the city,’ he said.

‘There’s a huge gap coming forward in terms of the ability of people, particularly with engineering and advanced manufacturing skills.

‘I think this will help fill the gap. That’s really important to the city because it’s important to so many of our major employers including the Royal Navy, BAE and Airbus. It fulfills a real need.

‘It widens our education offer by having something that’s employer led.

‘From the outset, it’s getting young people thinking about their future employment.’

The school will educate pupils from a wide area, from Winchester to East Hampshire to Arun, as well as across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

Mr Williams added: ‘I think it will be tremendous for the city. It’s something fresh and something directly linking young people’s education and young people’s employment opportunities in the place that they live in.

‘Children and their parents should be really excited.

‘The key is to make sure that these children and their parents are aware of the opportunity.

‘It would be a crying shame if we had young people in the city that missed that opportunity because they weren’t aware of it.’

The project is also being supported by the University of Portsmouth and the Royal Navy. The college is due to open in September 2017.

Open events are taking place across the area. The first one is taking place at Trafalgar School on Wednesday, September 9 from 6.30pm until 8.30pm.

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