Preston bids for £10m skills boost

A £10m bid has been made to the Department for Education to bring a new University Technical College in the city.

PrestonThe bid is a collaboration between University of Central Lancashire, Visions Learning Trust, Training 2000, the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Preston City Council.

The new University Technical College would give young people aged 14-19 the skills required to meet the needs of modern day employers and will focus on construction, civil engineering, interior design and architectural technology.

Councillor Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council, said: "Over the next ten years, Preston and Lancashire is set for major economic growth, construction and development. The opportunities are tremendous, but we need to help young people get the skills required to meet this demand and build successful careers for the future.

“We are looking at 20,000 new jobs, 17,420 new homes and over £1bn added to the local economy so we have to start planning for the future now. The University Technical College led by UCLan is a great place to start.”

Babs Murphy from the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce added: "We are right behind this bid as it is exactly what employers are crying out for. There is a skills gap which will only get wider if we don't do something about it now. “New businesses, offices, homes, roads and infrastructure will all be built in the Preston area over the next 10 years. Today's young people are tomorrow's workers and we have a duty to provide them with the support and skills necessary to capitalise on future economic growth and the jobs that will be created.”