Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 28th February 2013.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle 10:35 am, 28th February 2013

Last Thursday I was given a guided tour of the new Visions Learning Trust university technical college at Victoria Mill in Burnley by Martin Gallagher, the college principal, and Steve Gray, the chief executive of Training 2000. The multi-million-pound college, which will open in August this year and will admit students aged between 14 and 19, is designed to appeal directly to the more vocationally minded, and is exactly what large Pendle employers such as Rolls-Royce, Weston EU and Graham Engineering said that our area needed. May we have a debate on university technical colleges, and the fantastic opportunity that they provide for young people to gain access to an education linked directly to the skills and knowledge that our local employers say that they desperately need?

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Hugh Bramwell
Posted on 5 Mar 2013 7:59 am (Report this annotation)

The formation of UTC's may well have a place in the UK education system, only time will tell on that issue, however the debate on their usefulness also needs extending to take account of what already exists in the local area of any proposed UTC. As tax payers we deserve to fully appreciate how and why monies spent by government create best value and not squandered through duplicating provision in the name of choice. There are a number of questionable UTC locations and clearly research on the location of UTCs is not working in some cases. The Burnley UTC is less than 1 mile from the local college which is classed as Outstanding and ALL the UTC provision is already offered by the local College! We are told the UTC will recruit across Lancashire and yet Lancashire has the highest instances of Outstanding Colleges in England most offering just what the UTC proposes to bring.