Monday 10 October 2011

Plans for Silverstone University Technical College

The partnership is between The University of Northampton, Silverstone Circuits and Tresham College of Further and Higher Education.

The Silverstone Academy is planned to open by September 2013 and will allow up to 540 young people aged 14-19 from the area to train for a career in Motorsport and High Performance Engineering or Event Management in realistic working environments at one of the UK’s most prestigious venues.

University Technical Colleges are a relatively new concept in education that will provide technical education for students to learn in a practical way integrating national curriculum requirement with technical and vocational elements leading on to higher level qualifications and apprenticeships. The college ethos and curriculum will be heavily influenced by local and national employers who also provide vital support and work experience to enable students to progress into the £600m industry.

The government-funded project will be developed in Silverstone, co-sponsored by The University of Northampton and led by Tresham. The Silverstone Academy will be equipped to the highest standards to provide students with clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in technically based work.

Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, commented:

As a university with established teaching and research excellence in areas including high performance engineering, computing and numerous other science-focused and environmentally-based disciplines, we are delighted to co-sponsor important developments for young people within the county.  The UTC will add real value to technical education for the future of Northamptonshire. Students at the academy will learn in a very practical way, integrating national curriculum requirements with technical and vocational elements.

Professor Nick Petford

Paul Fletton, Acting Principal at Tresham, stated:

We have worked extremely hard with our partners, the University of Northampton and Silverstone Circuit and have received continued support from Northamptonshire County Council during the last 16 months to secure commitment from employers to establish a University Technical College for High Performance Engineering and Motorsport or Event Management.  The University of Northampton has made a significant contribution to the design of the curriculum for the UTC which will provide students with the opportunity to develop specialist skills at the iconic Silverstone Circuit.

Paul Fletton

Richard Phillips, Managing Director for Silverstone Holdings Ltd said:

It is vitally important that young people have the option to participate in good vocational education and I believe that by so doing, they can secure jobs in their chosen sectors.

Tresham’s proposal is a shining example of this vision in action.

Richard Phillips

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire said:

This is exciting and important news. Silverstone is the home of Motorsport and High Performance Engineering in the UK and the world. The University Technical College will give young people the chance to develop their skills within such specialist employment areas. Events management is of equal importance to the economy within Northamptonshire and employability is profound in the area. The use of the circuit and the links with industry will provide young people with genuine hands-on experience that they can take with them into their careers.

Andrea Leadsom

Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council said:

The County Council is delighted that Silverstone has been selected for one of the networks of University Technology Colleges that we hope will cover the whole of Northamptonshire. It is vital that we provide the right environment for giving young people the qualifications to forge careers in 21st century occupations, such as high performance engineering, and the Council is proud to support this.

Jim Harker

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