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Technical college for engineers could be built in Basildon
A NEW university technical college specialising in engineering and construction could be built in Basildon.
The top of the range college could be built for youngsters in the town to take advantage of the number of opportunities present with so many engineering firms in the area.
Education chiefs at Essex County Council have confirmed they are actively looking for a partner university to head up the project.
The council said they are in talks with universities but wouldn’t confirm which ones because it was such early stages.
Stephen Metcalfe, the MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has got the support of Parliamentary Under Secretary for education Matthew Hancock MP on this issue.
Mr Metcalfe said: “I am getting behind the bid for the specialist college because it is just what is needed for youngsters in Basildon. “Education is a massive passion of mine and I think this is the missing link in the education system in Basildon.
“There are plans for a new college in the town centre and that will really help things improve. I am backing the bid for a new technical college because we need to train up engineers of the future.
“There is so much opportunity in Basildon with all the businesses we have for youngsters to take advantage of.
“I have spoken about this in the Houses of Parliament and have got the support of the Parliamentary Under Secretary for education Matthew Hancock MP on this issue and hope we can go far with it and put in a bid to Government for funding as soon as possible.”
Big changes are planned for the education of Basildon youngsters with plans for two new colleges in the town unfolding.
South Essex College, which is currently in Nethermayne, has submitted plans for a new £30million town centre campus which would see the current college demolished and replaced by houses.
A new studio school specialising in sports and leisure and health and social care is also opening at Church Walk House on the Seevic College campus in Basildon town centre in September 2013.
It will be catering for 340 teenagers aged between 14 and 19 and they will be able to leave school in Year 9 and join the studio school for more training.
Stephen Castle, councillor with responsibility for education added: “I fully support an application for a universal technical college in Basildon in order to widen the range of educational pathways young people in Basildon can access.
“We currently do not have a university partner and so are unable to submit a bid for the next round of applications however we are continuing our discussions and hope to be in a position to submit an application in the near future.”