Wakefield ready to play key part in ‘technical education’

​Date: 24/1/2017
Ref: PR 8467

The Leader of Wakefield Council has welcomed the Prime Minister's proposals to create new educational institutions to support innovation and boost skills – and is now calling on the Government to support the City's university aspirations.

In Theresa May's first regional Cabinet Meeting, the Prime Minister launched proposals for a modern Industrial Strategy, which could include building a new system of technical education.

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "We are massively ambitious for our young people and today's announcement could enable us to build on the work already being done to improve higher level skills in our key growth sectors.

"We welcome the fact that the Government have recognised the need to create new educational institutions to support the specific strengths in that local area. Wakefield is well placed to be part of this and we urge the Government to support our aspiration to become a university city and help us deliver a technical university."

An Advanced Skills and Innovation Centre is currently under construction in Wakefield. The new centre will provide higher level provision to young adults and support businesses, allowing them to access graduates and degree level training for their workforce.

The cultural sector is a significant growth area in Wakefield. The city is already home to the world renowned art gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Unity Works, and the Art-House. Tileyard North, currently under construction at the City's Waterfront, will be a new creative hub from City and Provincial Properties to complement its world renowned Tileyard Studios at King's Cross in London. The company plans to open recording studios, educational suites and residential accommodation for people from the music industry. Also based in Wakefield is Litestructures, a world leader in design and manufacture of aluminium staging and structures and LS-Live, a unique production resource and Europe's first purpose built rehearsal space.

Through LS-Live, a unique university centre and training facility called Backstage Academy has been created solely for the live events industry, teaching over 300 students.

Cllr Box added: "Wakefield understands the need to have strong links between industry and education, and we already have partnerships in place delivering the type of technical education that will create a skilled workforce to meet the needs of our key businesses.

"We are now hoping to meet with Ministers to discuss how we can take our ambitions forward."

ENDS

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