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First New Further Education College For 20 Years Opens In Essex

Prospects College of Advanced Technology in Basildon becomes the first new further education college for more than 20 years

Published on 28 August 2014

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by Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Nick Boles MP and The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP


London, England

Department for Innovation & Skills
Department for Innovation & Skills

Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT) in Basildon has become the first new further education college to open its doors for more than 20 years.

The college, based in the South Essex Thames Gateway, will provide cutting-edge technical education through partnerships with the engineering and construction industries, including some of the UK’s leading employers. By working with employers at the forefront of these sectors, the new college will provide the very latest industry standard apprenticeships and workforce skills training.

Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable said:

"Prospects College of Advanced Technology will offer high-level specialist vocational provision with employer ownership at the core. I welcome the establishment of new colleges, which will drive up quality, help learners make the vital transition from education to employment and support economic growth."

The new college will serve more than 2,000 students and apprentices. It will provide high quality training through innovative approaches to learning in order to meet the skills needs of the local economy and in direct support of the government’s industrial strategy.

Speaking at the opening of the college, Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

"I am delighted that the first college visit I am making as Skills Minister is to PROCAT in order to mark this milestone opening. The launch of the first college in over 20 years demonstrates the increase in demand for technical education facilities by both learners and employers. The college is using state-of-the-art technology to give students the best education possible and enable them to become the next generation of engineers and skilled construction workers, which will in turn benefit the economy in the future."

Neil Bates, Chief Executive of Prospects College said:

"Working hand-in-hand with employers, we will train the next generation of technician engineers, aerospace engineers, project managers, building service engineers and skilled construction workers. We aspire to be world class and nothing less will do."

The government is committed to driving up quality and flexibility in the further education sector and has already announced the establishment of national colleges for advanced manufacturing, high speed rail and nuclear. Supporting the establishment of new colleges will enable the UK to compete at the cutting edge of vocational skills development – making the country a more attractive location for investment, and providing greater scope to export our educational expertise.


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Posted 2014-08-28 14:39:00