Brand new university technical college, ELUtec, to open in Rainham

A brand new college for 600 pupils will open in Rainham in 2013, after the bid was approved by the Department for Education today.

The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) is the lead partner in proposals for the facility – a university technical college (UTC) – and the campus will be built on its Marsh Way site.

The college, called the East London University Technical College (ELUtec) will offer academic and vocational training to 14 to 19-year-olds, in an attempt to address the nationwide shortage of engineering talent.

Ford and Network Rail, as well as University College London, Loughborough University and the Prospect Learning Foundation are all partners of Elutec.

It will take in students from Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Redbridge and Thurrock.

Pupils will attend wearing business attire rather than school uniforms, and will work an 8.30am-5pm day, to prepare them for the world of work.

CEME chief executive, Bill Williams, said: “We believe that the formation of Elutec represents a revolutionary new approach to solving the skills shortage affecting industry in the UK which is hampering economic growth.

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“Under the ELUtec programme youngsters who have an interest in the engineering and manufacturing professions will learn key skills under expert supervision using the best available equipment.”

He added: “We will be providing these boys and girls with a gateway to apprenticeships, to good job prospects and careers by providing them with a realistic introduction to the world of work.”

Alexander Armstrong, chairman of the Havering Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news.

He said: “I think it’s marvellous.

“It can only be a great thing for the area as it encourages youngsters to learn more skills.”

Schools Minister, Lord Hill, said: “Right around the country there is a lot of enthusiasm from employers, universities, pupils and parents for high quality rigorous technical education.

“They provide more choice for children as well as helping provide the kind of highly skilled technicians our economy needs.”