HS2 training bid by college consortium from West Midlands

The consortium involves colleges from Birmingham, Staffordshire and Worcestershire

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A consortium of colleges from Birmingham, Staffordshire and Worcestershire will bid to train skilled workers for the HS2 rail line.

Ministers announced in January plans for a dedicated further education college for the high-speed railway.

The nine colleges in the consortium want it to be sited alongside a planned HS2 maintenance depot on the former LGV plant in Washwood Heath, Birmingham.

It would be England's first new further education college for 20 years.

Jerry Blackett, chief executive of Great Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said it made sense to put the college next to a large maintenance depot.

"You're going to have a train set to play with - you go to college to learn the skills and you can then apply them with a real-life high-speed system on your doorstep," he said.

Artist's impression of new station in Birmingham for the HS2 line Artist's impression of new station in Birmingham for the HS2 line

Plans were unveiled last week to redevelop 350 acres (141 hectares) of Birmingham city centre around the site of an HS2 station.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the college would have "cutting-edge technology and use state-of-the-art equipment" to provide training courses for the specific needs of the rail project, which is expected to generate more than 2,000 apprenticeships.

The colleges involved in the bid to bring the college to Birmingham are:

  • South Staffordshire College
  • Burton and South Derbyshire College
  • Birmingham Metropolitan College
  • University College, Birmingham
  • South and City College, Birmingham
  • Bournville College
  • Solihull College
  • North East Worcestershire College
  • Kidderminster College

Other bids to be the location for the new college are expected to come from Manchester, Crewe, and Derby.

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