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Ministers give green light to Medway UTC

Thu 28 March 2013, 2:39 pm

Education secretary Michael Gove has given the go-ahead for a University Technical College (UTC) for Chatham.

The college, targeted at 14-19 year olds, will specialise in engineering and construction studies, and is one of 13 UTCs given the go-ahead this week by the Department for Education. The first of the latest wave of UTCs are expected to open in 2014.

As well as studying core GCSE subjects, UTC students receive vocational training in the college's specialisms, allowing them to leave with the skills industry needs.

Medway UTC is backed by the University of Greenwich, Medway Council, and MidKent College, in partnership with BAE Systems, Denne Construction, and the Royal School of Military Engineers.

Councillor Les Wicks, Medway’s children’s services lead, said the new college would build on the borough’s “rich history” of construction and engineering.

“A college specialising in these subjects will not only continue this tradition, but will also equip a new generation with first class technical skills that will help them pursue careers in these important sectors at all levels,” he said.

Barbara Peacock, the council’s director of children’s services, said the new college would boost the borough’s growth, and offer local youngsters new options.

“Medway’s economy will benefit greatly from having a UTC and now we are able to get on and make it a reality,” she said. “A UTC will enable a degree of specialisation prior to age 16 that is currently unavailable and which will re-engage and enthuse students.”

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