Plans for a new college that will deliver the specialised training and qualifications needed for high speed rail, which will benefit HS2 and other future infrastructure projects across the country, have been announced by the government. The new college will provide training in how to make the most of cutting edge technology and use state-of-the-art equipment to deliver programmes designed specifically for the HS2 project. It will also build relationships with a network of affiliated facilities, including existing colleges, private training providers, HE institutions and major supply networks off route. It is expected that the college will be open by 2017, when construction of HS2 will begin.
The announcement was made during a visit to the Old Oak Common railway depot by Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock, who said:
“HS2 will be a world class project using cutting edge technology. It is vital we act now to ensure we have enough skilled people to build HS2 and make sure as many jobs as possible are local. This new elite institution with a specific focus on rail construction and maintenance will give learners new skills which respond not only to the needs of HS2, but also to the future of rail engineering so is vital for Britain’s future.”
It is expected that HS2 will create up to 2000 apprentices during the lifetime of construction. Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said:
“HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project that this government is delivering. So it is right that a large scale investment in bricks and mortar should also come with investment in the elite skills which will help build it. That’s why this government is launching the first further education college in over 20 years, which will train the next generation of engineers in rail, construction and environmental studies that this country needs to prosper.”
The full press release can be found here