Futuristic Lee-on-the-Solent training centre will teach 200 apprentices at HMS Daedalus

EXCITING Plans for the new skills training centre at HMS Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent
EXCITING Plans for the new skills training centre at HMS Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent

Government sells off HMS Ocean for £84m

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PLANS to build an engineering and manufacturing skills centre at the former HMS Daedalus airfield could create hundreds of apprenticeships.

Fareham College wants to build an advanced skills training centre on the site, as part of plans to turn it into a huge business park.

The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST) would support 200 apprenticeships and teach new skills to 600 learners every year.

As reported in The News, on Wednesday local government secretary Eric Pickles visited the airfield where the centre will be built.

He announced a government proposal to put £3m into the college’s plans.

It will join up with another £3m from Hampshire County Council, £3m from the Skills Funding Agency, £3m from the Regional Growth Fund and £1m from the college.

Nigel Duncan, the principal of Fareham College, said: ‘It’s great for the area and great for the college.

‘As a college that prides itself on working with local businesses to develop their workforce, we see the development of the centre as a significant step forward.

‘It will provide advanced training in most engineering and manufacturing disciplines in state-of-the-art facilities that will be designed and built to meet the developing technological skills for now and the future.’

The college plans to open the centre in September 2014.

Its construction would lead to 135 temporary jobs.

There would then be a further 150 jobs on the site when it is complete.

Mr Pickles also revealed plans to invest more than £25m of government money into the creation of a huge business park at the HMS Daedalus site.

The training centre would benefit any companies moving onto the site by offering training to their workers.

Fareham College already works with big companies including BAE Systems, Britten Norman, GE Aviation and the Virgin Atlantic Academy.

Of the £25m investment, £15m will be used to get the land at Daedalus ready for businesses to move in.

There will also be space for 90 homes on the site.

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which is in charge of development at the site, says the £25m cash injection could lead to the creation of nearly 1,200 jobs.