A new London college is bidding to help close the technical skills gap in the UK economy.
Due to open at the start of the new academic year, the £100 million London South Bank Technical College aims to be teaching an annual total of 6,000 students by 2026.
Forty-six courses covering a wide range of technical skills – from games design to construction, computing to dental technology, health and social care to robotics – will be held in the college’s state-of-the-art classrooms at its Nine Elms base.
“There are over 469,000 vacancies in the construction, health and social work, computing and scientific sectors, fuelled by major skills shortages in the UK,” said Fiona Morey, executive principal of South Bank Colleges.
She was quoting from figures released on 17 May by the Office for National Statistics, with the 469,000 vacancies breaking down across four sectors:
- 212,000 health and social work
- 130,000 professional scientific
- 78,000 computing and technology
- 49,000 construction
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“Skills shortages comes at a huge cost, reducing the opportunities that workers have to build successful careers and to the economy,” added Morey.
“A recent NESTA survey said the cost of data-driven skills shortages for the UK economy is £2 billion a year. That’s why our new London South Bank Technical College is so important, to train the next generation of scientists, business leaders and engineers when it opens in September 2022.”
The new facility will come into operation in two phases. The first will see the opening of the building teaching science, technology, engineering, arts and maths courses, before two new buildings open in September 2024 to facilitate the teaching of health, life sciences and business courses.
London South Bank Technical College is part of LSBU Group, a partnership of secondary, further and higher education institutions in the south of the capital.