Tuesday, May 6, 2014

News: Sheffield city region put forward for HS2 college

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The Sheffield city region is joining a number of areas along the route by bidding to become home to a new college to train the next generation of world-class engineers to work on the construction of High Speed 2 (HS2).

The college will deliver the specialised training and qualifications needed for high speed rail, which will benefit HS2 and other future infrastructure projects across the country. It will offer the necessary technical training to make HS2 a success and ensure it can be built by skilled British workers including; rail engineering, environmental skills and construction. It will be the first new incorporated Further Education College in over 20 years.

Doncaster has been put forward by the Sheffield city region to be the location for this new college given its strong railway heritage and unique cluster of rail engineering companies in the UK.

Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2, said: "This country produces some of the best engineers to be found anywhere in the world. The problem is that there aren't enough of them, and there isn't a long enough guaranteed work-stream to keep them here. So they tend to go overseas.

"HS2 provides us with a unique chance to address both issues. The sheer length of the project means we can offer people a rewarding career in engineering staying in this country, whilst the multiplicity of skills required means we will be equipping a new generation with experience at the cutting edge of technology.

"So HS2 gives us the chance not just to re-balance the economic geography of the country, but also our national skills base. It is an opportunity we should seize."

In promoting the HS2 bid, a partnership between local businesses and council is being formed to both support bid and the development of the rail sector within the town.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "The LEP board fully backs this proposal to bring the new HS2 College to the Sheffield city region.

"We hope that the collective confidence shown by local leaders from across the private and public sectors to bring the main hub to Doncaster will help Government to make the right choice.

"The LEP is committed to maximising the benefits of HS2 and this proposal complements our Strategic Economic Plan which aims to bring a rail engineering training academy to the city region.

"The Sheffield city region has all the elements needed to make the flagship HS2 college a success, including a reputation and heritage in rail engineering, an exceptional engineering business base and world-class further and higher education providers."

The decision is due early June 2014.

HS2 Ltd website

Images: HS2 Ltd

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