Industry Minister Claire Perry launches work on Stansted Airport College
PUBLISHED: 15:37 27 November 2017
The construction of a new £11m technical college at Stansted Airport was officially started yesterday as part of the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper.
Claire Perry, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, visited the site to see work get under way on the project, a joint venture between Stansted Airport and Harlow College.
Funding for the facility, which is to be known as Stansted Airport College and will create 500 Further Education places, is also being provided by Essex county and Uttlesford district councils and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
It the first on-site college of its kind at any major UK airport and is intended to boost the skills of students and provide a pipeline of future talent for the airport and the 200-plus other companies based there when it opens in autumn 2018.
The college will offer courses designed to bridge the skills gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects as well as areas specific to the airport such as aircraft and airport engineering, business studies, logistics and supply chain management, asset management, hospitality and customer service.
Claire Perry said: “Today we have launched our new, modern Industrial Strategy which aims to help young people develop the skills to do the high-paid, high-skilled jobs of the future.
“The new college here at Stansted is a prime example of our Industrial Strategy in action. Public and private sector working together to improve the skills of young people and delivering a pipeline of talent that will boost the local economy.”
Brad Miller, chief operating officer at the airport, said: “Today is an exciting day for both the airport and the region and we are delighted that the Minister was able to join us all at London Stansted and witness first-hand the role this initiative will play in delivering the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
“The Stansted Airport College is a great example of the private and public sector working together on behalf of our region to try to deliver part of the solution to a very real problem. As a rapidly growing and ambitious airport and employer of 12,000 people, it is vital for us to develop and retain the right talent and skills.
“The airport sits within an area of low unemployment so it can often be challenging for companies to fill vacancies across our site.”
Karen Spencer, principal and chief executive of Harlow College, said: “Further Education colleges are central to delivering high quality technical skills and improving the country’s economic productivity.
“As a college, we firmly believe that working jointly with employers strengthens our curriculum and also provides a clearer line of sight to the workplace for young people.”
Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “We are very proud to have helped create this project to build an aviation college at Stansted Airport and we are thrilled to be a key funding partner in this unique venture which will make a great impact on the Essex economy.
“The college will be a valued and important training facility and will help bridge the technical and engineering skills gap in the county that are identified by the Essex Employment and Skills Board.”
Christian Brodie, chairman of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is vital that we support key economic sectors and businesses like Stansted Airport and our further education providers such as Harlow College.
“The new college will help the airport access the skills it needs to boost productivity and at the same time generate local employment for our young people.”
“For the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine to succeed the Government must continue to invest in our area’s infrastructure and skills. To support growth elsewhere in the country and help the Government deliver its Industrial Strategy we must have a strong South East, as it is here that drives the UK economy.”
Vic Ranger, Uttlesford District Council’s cabinet member for communities and partnerships, added: “The college will create an environment in which skills and training can be tailored to what employers need, and open up exciting opportunities and career paths for local young people. It will be the first Further Education college in Uttlesford and we are delighted to support such a trailblazing initiative.”