New university technical college for Plymouth

Plymouth University
Image caption The UTC bid was made by Plymouth University, City College Plymouth and the city council

A technical college specialising in marine engineering and advance manufacturing is to be created in Devon.

The University Technical College (UTC) will be built on the site of the old Parkside School in Devonport, Plymouth.

It will cater for about 450 14 to 19-year-olds from Plymouth, Tavistock, Ivybridge and parts of south east Cornwall.

The government hopes to create up to 28 UTCs in England and Wales by 2014.

It is hoped the college in Plymouth will open in September 2013.

'Home-grown talent'

The bid was supported by a partnership between Plymouth University, City College Plymouth and Plymouth City Council.

Vivien Pengelly, leader of the Conservative-run council, said having a UTC in the city would help to nurture "home-grown talent that will foster growth and regeneration in the city".

The college will offer students a technically-orientated form of study in a school equipped and run to industrial standards.

The aim of the government initiative is to improve employment chances for young people by giving them clear progression routes into either higher education or higher-level apprenticeships with an employer.

The vice chancellor of Plymouth University said the UTC would bring education and business together across the city.

"It draws upon our spirit of discovery and strong links with the marine and maritime industry," Professor Wendy Purcell said.

"The UTC will offer young people the opportunity to train in marine engineering, and develop the type of highly desirable skills that the economy is looking for.

The cost of refurbishing the former Parkside School site will be met by funding from the Department for Education.

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