Lincoln technical college concept approved

A proposal by the University of Lincoln, Siemens, and Lincoln College to create a technical college has been approved by the Department for Education.

The approval means the new college would be teaching 14-19 year olds GCSEs in science and engineering alongside core subjects.

Apprenticeships within the fields would also be on offer.

The University of Lincoln team who put in the big to the department hope the college will be complete in September 2013 and offer between 500 and 800 places.

Now the idea has been approved by the Department for Education, it can move to a pre-opening stage.

This means that after planning, the new college could open in the next two years.

A variety of locations for the new college are being considered, but with the idea in its initial stages, it remains unclear how much it would cost.

University Technical Colleges, UTCs, are a new concept by government, offering students free, technically orientated courses, full and part time, supported by a university and local business.

The total number of approved UTCs currently stands at 34 across the UK. Each will have its own specialty: Lincoln’s will be core science and engineering.

Nick Muntz, Managing Director of Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd, is supporting the Lincoln UTC.

He said: “Siemens strongly believes that the UTC initiative will provide a unique opportunity for employers to engage with future workforce.”

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said: “The next generation of engineers and scientists will come through the Lincoln University Technical College, which will work hard to develop a relevant vocational education based on strong academic teaching.

“University technical colleges provide an excellent route for young people to pursue careers in engineering and science that prepare students for future success in industry and ensure the highest standards of relevant and useful secondary education.”

John Allen, Principal and Chief Executive of Lincoln College, said: “The experience and qualifications gained by students attending the UTC will help regional employers compete in the global economic race and help support growth and prosperity in the region.

“The UTC will add a new specialised educational offer that complements the existing excellent secondary schools and college provision across the county and supports even wider choice.”

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney said: “I am delighted that the Department for Education has decided that the University of Lincoln’s proposal for a University Technical College (UTC) in Lincoln for up to 640 pupils, aged 14 to 19 years old, should be approved and the project proceed to the ‘pre-opening’ stage.

“This UTC, developed in partnership with our university and employers, will help provide a new generation of school leavers in and around Lincoln with the technical knowledge and skills that industry wants.

“I know there is much to be done before the Secretary of State can enter into a funding agreement and, by doing so, give approval for the Lincoln UTC to open, hopefully in September next year, but the progression of the application to the pre-opening stage is a very significant step forward.”