By Daniel Hunter

A new manufacturing and engineering college has opened to 900 students in the Solent Enterprise Zone in Fareham.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt announced 900 young people will now be able to pursue their dream careers in engineering and manufacturing at a new dedicated campus in the Solent at Daedalus Enterprise Zone.

On a visit to the college, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt saw first-hand how more than £9 million of public funding supported construction of the new state of the art learning campus at Fareham College. Work on the site, which began last year, included engineering apprentices from the college.

Enterprise zones across the country are investing in further education to equip young people with the vocational skills they need to compete in the job market.

As the new campus prepares to welcome its first cohort of students, the Centre of Excellence in Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training will offer apprenticeship programmes in automotive, manufacturing, and engineering with blue chip companies such as BAE Systems, GE Aviation, and Virgin Atlantic.

The course curriculum was created in partnership with local industry leaders and aims to give students a choice of career and a vocational course to suit. It will also help the wider development of the zone by attracting companies seeking to relocate on site and potentially providing new jobs for students when they graduate.

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said:

"It is essential that we invest in young people now and equip them with the skills that they and British businesses need to thrive. The new college will allow students to pursue their dream careers and become future business leaders. This specially designed vocational course created in partnership with the industry and Enterprise Zone will not only help local young people reach their potential but compete in a competitive job market, as well as bringing widespread benefits to the local area.

"Innovative sites like Fareham support the government’s long-term economic plan where enterprise zones are helping to build resilient economies. I offer my congratulations to everyone involved in this fantastic new facility."

Peter Marsh, Deputy Principal of Fareham College said:

"Fareham College is committed to supporting young people and adults develop the skills and experience to further their careers. The creation of the new Centre for Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training has offered us the chance to work with employers to design both the curriculum and the facilities that truly meet their needs in the key growth sectors of aeronautical, marine, electronics, composites, automotive and manufacturing engineering.

"The support of the local enterprise partnership and the Homes and Communities Agency and Hampshire County Council has enabled us to create an outstanding new centre which will be part at the heart of a new hub of advanced technologies; with lower land costs, grant funding and zero rates for the first few years the financial package was very attractive too. Despite concerns that the Enterprise Zone’s location was more remote than our town centre campus, enrolments at this new specialist facility have already exceeded our initial targets and we are on course to be operating at full capacity within 2 years."

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