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Minister officially launches Stansted Airport College

The Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, Claire Perry MP, was at London Stansted Airport today (27 November) to see the start of the construction phase of the new on-site technical college and to promote the government's Industrial Strategy.

College Groundbreaking

The £11m Stansted Airport College, designed by Pascall+Watson, is the first on-site college of its kind at any major UK airport and is a joint venture between Harlow College and London Stansted. When the college opens in time for the 2018 autumn term, it will aim to boost the skills of students in the region and provide a pipeline of future talent for the airport and the 200 plus on-site companies.

The two-storey facility has received two separate £3.5 million grants from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Local Growth Fund and Essex County Council, and is also supported by a £300,000 grant by Uttlesford District Council.

The college will welcome more than 500 students each year and offer courses designed to bridge the skills gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects as well as specific airport areas such as aircraft and airport engineering, business studies, logistics and supply chain management, asset management, hospitality and customer service.

The development of the college is critical to supporting Stansted's ambitious future growth plans and will provide skilled on-site workers and training opportunities for young people in the regional community surrounding the airport.

Climate Change and Industry Minister, 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

Stansted Airport's Chief Operating Officer, Brad Miller, 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. The aim of the project is to help address the growing skills gap in engineering, hospitality and customer service across our region, develop talent and provide more opportunities for local people to join us as we play an ever more critical role in providing UK runway capacity over the next decade."

Karen Spencer, Principal and Chief Executive of Harlow College, said: "We are delighted to be working with London Stansted on the UK's first Airport College. 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. We genuinely believe our strapline - Not Just Courses, Careers."

Cllr 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. Our investment supports our bold ambitions to achieve the best for our residents and we are committed to support them to achieve the skills and qualifications they need to reach their potential.

"Uttlesford district benefits from excellent transport links, both nationally and internationally, which offer businesses numerous and varied opportunities to reach a global clientele. Coupled with a growing local workforce, Stansted Airport College will help Essex to become one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in the UK."

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."

Cllr Vic Ranger, Uttlesford District Council's Cabinet Member for Communities & Partnerships, said: "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."

27 November 2017