New colleges for region 
to combat 
skills crisis

George Osborne
George Osborne
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GEORGE Osborne has given the green light for three new colleges aimed at tackling a skills shortage facing Yorkshire as he promised to unveil a grand plan to grow the North of England’s economy in the autumn.

Leeds, Sheffield and Scarborough will be the sites of these new university technical colleges (UTCs) preparing almost 2,000 students for jobs in areas including hi-tech engineering, offshore wind and digital industries.

UTCs are a new type of school for 14 to 18-year-olds which provide technical education alongside traditional academic subjects. Each project has the backing of both employers and a local university.

The Leeds UTC will focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering. The project is sponsored by the employers Kodak, Siemens, Agfa Graphics and Unilever, in partnership with Leeds University and with backing of Leeds City College, council and chamber of commerce.

The Scarborough UTC is sponsored by Unison Ltd, McCain Foods (GB) and Dale Power Solutions, along with Hull University. It will specialise in advanced engineering and design and control.

Sheffield, which already has Yorkshire’s first UTC, is to get a second specialising in human sciences and digital technologies. The UTC is to be based at the former Don Valley Stadium site and is sponsored by the Sheffield College and Sheffield Hallam University and employers include Sheffield teaching hospitals NHS trust and Boeing Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

The three new UTCs will open in 2016 and were among 11 announced by the Chancellor yesterday. Phil Ball, managing director of Kodak UK and the Leeds UTC steering group chairman, said: “This is great news for Leeds and the start of a new journey for education provision in the city.”

Peter Wilkinson, chairman of Scarborough Business Ambassadors, said: “It is the culmination of some superb joint working by the local business community, the University of Hull and Scarborough Borough Council. More importantly, it’s just what the area needs.”

Call for Boris-style mayors: Page 4; Skills gap: Page 13.