Manchester shortlisted for HS2 College

MANCHESTER will vie with Birmingham, Derby and Doncaster to be home to the new National College for High Speed Rail.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said the new college ‘hub’ and a number of ‘spokes’ based across the country would provide training to the next generation of engineers working on the HS2 project and beyond.

Mr Hancock said the quality of bids had been very high overall and all had been assessed against a range of criteria including the size and availability of a suitable site, accessibility, and the potential to develop strong links with employers and providers already operating in the sector.

Manchester, unlike the other contenders, will have two HS2 stations, one at Piccadilly, the other near Manchester Airport. Birmingham however, will get the link in the first wave of investment.

Mr Hancock said: “For the college to be a success, it will need to bring together this expertise so we can achieve high quality skills provision in this important sector.

“We hope that all those locations that responded to the consultation will develop strong links with the main college site, so that as many learners as possible have access to the opportunities that HS2 and other rail engineering projects will create.”

To ensure the success of the college, BIS has appointed Terry Morgan to advise on its development.  Morgan is the chairman of Crossrail, chair of the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering and was previously chief executive of Tube Lines and group managing director for BAE Systems.  His first task was to oversee the selection of the shortlist and he will be involved in final phase of the selection process.

This will involve representatives from Birmingham, Derby, Doncaster and Manchester giving presentations to an Advisory Group on June 27 in order for a final decision to be made in July. The advisory group will consist of Terry Morgan, officials from BIS, the DfT and representatives from HS2 Ltd.