Government invests £80m in national colleges

The centres of hi-tech provision will be completed by September 2017 and will support the delivery of national infrastructure projects

Will Martin

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The government has ringfenced £80 million for the creation of five new national colleges in England.

The colleges will deliver technical and specialist training in industries central to the government’s productivity agenda – high-speed rail, nuclear, onshore oil and gas, digital skills, and creative and cultural – and will support the delivery of major infrastructure projects like HS2 and new nuclear.

Investment in the national colleges, which are expected to train an estimated 21,000 students by 2020, was confirmed by Chancellor George Osborne in his spending review in November 2015. 

The five national colleges and their expected completion dates are as follows:

  • National College for Digital Skills (London; Tottenham Hale and Whitechapel) – September 2016
  • National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries (Purfleet, Essex) – September 2016
  • National College for High Speed Rail (Birmingham and Doncaster) – September 2017
  • National College for Nuclear (Somerset and Cumbria) – September 2017
  • National College for Onshore Oil and Gas (Blackpool) – September 2017

'Designed with employers, for employers'

Speaking about the national colleges, skills minister Nick Boles said: “This is the investment in high-tech skills that businesses are crying out for. We have made it a priority to work with employers to deliver high-quality, technical education and clear routes to employment that deliver economic growth and create opportunities for our young people, and enable our existing workforce to upskill and retrain for the jobs of the future.

“The national colleges have been designed with employers, for employers. They will produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”

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Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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