The Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, Claire Perry MP, was at London Stansted Airport to see the start of the construction phase of the new on-site technical college and to also launch the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
The £11m Stansted Airport College 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.
The two-storey facility, located on a one acre site on land made available by the airport, 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 a pipeline of skilled on-site workers and training opportunities for young people in the regional community surrounding the airport.
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 a pipeline of 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.”
Christian Brodie, South East LEP Chair:
The South East LEP is very proud to be supporting Stansted Airport College through a £3.5 million investment. With employers at the heart of delivery, this innovative facility will offer Degree Apprenticeships and higher level training in the right environment. We’re looking forward to seeing the Centre completed and are thrilled to have been able to support it.
This project is one of 96 Local Growth Fund projects bringing growth to the South East.
The Local Growth Fund is the Government’s funding pot of at least £2bn a year from 2015/16 to 2020/21. Most of the funding is allocated through a competitive process, there are have been three rounds of Local Growth Funds between 2014 and 2017 which funds projects which will deliver up to 2021.
Growth Deals are a £12 billion national long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are an exemplar approach of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.
In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government bring almost £590.8m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. Over the lifetime of the Deal (2015-2021 we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs, 29,000 homes, the deal and brings new responsibilities and flexibilities. and is set to attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East over the next five years.