Govt confirms National Colleges programme

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Govt confirms National Colleges programme (image credit: iStock/Prasit Rodphan)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has confirmed a new £80 million budget for the creation of five new National Colleges, which will focus on delivering the UK's "workforce of tomorrow".

Each of the colleges will specialise in a specific area of high technology training, with the aim of ensuring the UK is able to meet the challenges of major infrastructure development and high-level skills training in the years to come.

The five National Colleges are:

  • National College for High Speed Rail (hubs located in Birmingham and Doncaster)
  • National College for Nuclear (hubs located Somerset and Cumbria)
  • National College for Onshore Oil and Gas (hub located in Blackpool)
  • National College for Digital Skills (hubs located in London; Tottenham Hale and Whitechapel)
  • National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries (hub located in Purfleet, Essex)

Skills minister Nick Boles said: "This is the investment in high-tech skills that businesses are crying out for.

"We have made it a priority to work with employers to deliver high-quality, technical education and clear routes to employment that deliver economic growth and create opportunities for our young people, and enable our existing workforce to upskill and retrain for the jobs of the future."

He added that the new college system has been designed in partnership with the nation's employers and will help to ensure those skills that UK industries really require will be prioritised in the coming years.

The first new colleges are set to open in September this year and the full network of higher education establishments will be fully online for the September intake the following year.