A new college at Silverstone has been lauded as ‘pioneering’ and an ‘absolutely brilliant idea’ by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable MP.
Mr Cable paid a visit to Silverstone University Technical College yesterday, Thursday, which opened its doors to its first student cohort in September this year.
The college is one of the first of its kind and caters for 14 to 18-year-olds, offering them a unique combination of academic and vocational study, specialising in high performance engineering and event management.
Mr Cable said the college would help to fill the ‘chronic’ shortage of skilled engineers in the UK jobs market.
He added: “The age profile of the profession is getting older and we really are going to need a new generation of people with those skills.
“They are relatively highly paid jobs and it is a great future but it is attracting young people into engineering.”
Mr Cable’s visit was part of the Tomorrow’s Engineers event where businesses invite young people to learn more about engineering jobs. Mr Cable toured the facilities, based at Silverstone race track, and chatted to students who were operating a 3D printer.
College principal Neil Patterson explained the students were taught ‘traditional’ subjects and how it could be practically applied to business.
He said: “I wanted Mr Cable to see the students and to see how excited they were about what they are learning. They know what they want to do for a career and they are getting an opportunity to start that career two years early.”
Following his visit to the college Mr Cable went on to meet key people within the motorsport industry to discuss the importance of motorsport engineering to the local and national economy.