Plans on drawing board for university technical college

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PLANS for a new university technical college (UTC) focusing on renewables and engineering will be considered by the Department for Education (DfE) next month.

The bid for a new UTC in North Lincolnshire is being led by Hull University and Able UK. If it gets the go-ahead it could open in September 2014.

UTCS are schools for 14 to 19-year-olds which provide a technical work-orientated education alongside academic qualifications.

The plan is for the Renewables and Engineering UTC to take on up to 600 students, with 60 per cent being from North Lincolnshire and 40 per cent from further afield. It is also being supported by North Lincolnshire Council, Tata Steel, North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe and Clugston.

Representatives from the project will be interviewed by the DfE in February. Yesterday they held a meeting with the Baker Dearing Educational Trust which is responsible for rolling out UTCs for the DfE.

Two surveys about the UTC have now been created, one for prospective students and parents and another for businesses.

Coun Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “The UTC will ensure young people are ready for work in existing industries in the area and in new industries anticipated for the area in the renewables sector.

“It is expected that all young people attending the UTC will go on to complete high-level apprenticeships with an employer or further their studies at a university.

“It is very important for people in North Lincolnshire to have their say on the proposed UTC. The advisory board want to ensure that local people take the opportunity to provide feedback on this exciting project.”

Hull University was previously involved in a bid for a UTC for Hull which was rejected by the DfE in 2011.

The first UTC in Yorkshire is set to open in Sheffield later this year specialising in engineering and creative digital media.

There are also plans to open up to two UTCs in Leeds.