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New HS2 college chooses Birmingham for headquarters

The new National College for High-Speed Rail will be located in Birmingham and Doncaster, the Government announced today.

The college headquarters will be based in Birmingham and it will also have a site in Doncaster.

It will provide specialist vocational training to the next generation of engineers working on the controversial High Speed 2 (HS2) project and beyond.

The college, due to open in 2017, will be led by employers from the sector and will offer technical training including rail engineering, environmental skills and construction.

It is expected that as many as 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities will be created by HS2 and some 25,000 people will be employed during its construction.

Announcing the news today, prime minister David Cameron said the opening of the national college would ensure there was a pool of locally trained workers with the right skills to draw upon for future projects.

Business secretary Vince Cable said: “The opening of this college demonstrates that the UK is advancing as a global leader in rail manufacturing.

“This is the next step in building the highly skilled specialist workforce needed to develop the biggest infrastructure project this country has ever seen, and to enable our rail industry to compete in future global markets.”

The college will be located in Birmingham’s city centre Science Park and Doncaster’s Lakeside Campus. HS2 Ltd also recently announced its construction headquarters will be based in Birmingham, along with its network control centre.

Doncaster was chosen for its links to established rail industry businesses.

The governing board of the new college will be chaired by Terry Morgan, who is also the chair of Crossrail, and will include representatives from Birmingham and Doncaster, alongside HS2 Ltd and leading industry employers.

The government said the college would be led by employers from the sector and would set industry standards for training based on emerging technology and the use of cutting-edge facilities, with trainers who were experts in their fields.

The specialist training at the college will be level 4 and above.


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