Milton Keynes should be city of engineers

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Milton Keynes could be putting in a bid to host a multi million pound, state-of-the-art engineering college ordered by the government.

The massive facility, which would offer thousands of apprenticeships, would be an “incredible opportunity” for MK, said city Labour leaders this week.

They are urging all local political parties to join forces and put in a joint bid to the government.

Labour parliamentary candidate Andrew Pakes said: “The competition to host the new college is going to be tough, but with the right leadership and ambition we can win this race.”

The government is expected to launch a formal bidding process for the new college within the next few months.

It will solve the problem of the national skills gap for highly qualified engineers needed for major infrastructure projects such as the High Speed 2 railway – which will need around 2,000 apprenticeships.

Milton Keynes would be a strong candidate for the new college due to its geographical position midway between London and Birmingham.

Other advantages would be its rich heritage of engineering factories, including Wolverton Works and Red Bull Racing, say Labour.

“We also have the business focus of the new UCMK campus and the Open University and the strong apprenticeship and skills approach of MK College,” said Mr Pakes.

Labour group leader, Peter Marland, said: “It is vital that Milton Keynes Council takes the lead with partners to persuade Government that MK, with our great existing rail industry base close to the planned HS2, is the location for their skills academy.

“We need to be making the case for high skilled jobs in Milton Keynes.”