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New technical college for Newhaven planned
An ambitious bid to open a college specialising in teaching teenagers engineering skills has been launched.
The University of Brighton, educational charity The Aldridge Foundation and Lewes District Council are backing a proposal to set up a University Technical College (UTC) in Newhaven.
It would have the capacity to take on up to 600 students and focus on marine and environmental engineering courses to meet the needs of local employers.
The town is home to Newhaven Port which will become the operations and maintenance base for the proposed Rampion offshore wind farm if it is given the go ahead.
It would be one of a growing number of government-funded colleges for 14- to 19-year-olds to bring together the expertise of local business, further education colleges, vocational education experts and universities.
It is expected students will travel from as far afield as Eastbourne, Shoreham and Haywards Heath to study hands-on technically-based subjects alongside core academic subjects and entrepreneurship.
They would also take part in sports and learn how to develop work-based skills and be “job ready”.
Lewes District Council leader James Page said: “There is a compelling case for a UTC in Newhaven, a place that has a long history of marine engineering and manufacturing and yet a significant number of young people not in education, employment or training.
“This school would help our young people to maximise the opportunities arising from the obvious growth in the marine and renewable energy industries locally.
“Many locally-based businesses support the bid and recognise the value of skilled, young people available to work in the area.
“As the key beneficiaries of a highly-skilled workforce, we are keen for employers to provide the necessary input to ensure that learners are ready for the world of work.”
Andrew Lloyd, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the university, said: “A new college in Newhaven would provide a world-class facility to develop home-grown talent.
“It will benefit from the university’s expertise in environmental engineering and nurture the next generation of engineers.”
A site for the new college has not been identified yet a number of possible options, including using existing buildings, are being considered.
If the bid is successful there will be capital funding from the Department for Education but how much will depend on the size of the proposed site and the requirements.
People are being invited to send in their comments on the proposals before an application is sent to the Department for Education on November 16.
A decision will be given in March and if successful the college would open in 2014/15.
To comment on the proposals, visit www.cleantech-utc.org.