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Flybe's academy gains cash take-off

An employer-led training centre for the airline industry is to receive pound;4.3 million from the Learning and Skills Council's Capital Specialisation Fund.

The training academy, run by airline Flybe out of Exeter Airport, will run courses for aviation industry covering aircraft maintenance, cabin crew, pilots, customer care and other related travel skills. Flybe works closely with Exeter College and Exeter University.

Flybe, an accredited vocational awarding body, aims to equip learners with a recognised qualification which can be transferred between airline companies, rather than staff retraining each time they change jobs.

An additional pound;2.8 million will come from the South West Regional Development Agency which said that the academy would create 200 jobs.

The investment was announced by the further education and skills minister Kevin Brennan on Wednesday. Mr Brennan also announced a new training centre, based in Waltham Forest, London, to support the construction industry, including projects such as the London 2012 Olympic site. The centre receives pound;5.9 million from the LSC and will be run by the National Skills Academy for Construction.

Mr Brennan said: "The opportunities these centres offer will not only benefit learners in the long-term but will help address unemployment and provide the skills needed to work on major engineering and construction projects."

Geoff Russell, the LSC's chief executive, said: "I am particularly impressed by the very high level of partnership work by public agencies and private companies with the foresight and commitment to create innovative, cost-effective new facilities."

Jim French, Flybe's chairman amp; chief executive, said: "Now this is secured, we can finally go ahead with fulfilling our commitment to the region by building our world-class training facility here in Exeter."

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