Go-ahead for UK fracking colleges
The first national UK shale colleges have been given the go-ahead by Business, Enterprise & Energy Minister, Matthew Hancock.
A National College for Onshore Oil and Gas will be headquartered in Blackpool and linked to colleges in Chester, Redcar and Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth.
The colleges will:
- Provide high level specialist skills needed by the industry from ‘A’ level equivalents right through to postgraduate degree level, and train teachers and regulators.
- Accredit relevant training and academic courses run by other institutions.
- Carry out research and development for improved equipment, materials and processes that will increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of operations.
- Work with schools to encourage children to consider careers in the industry, and to help them make the right subject choices early on.
Blackpool and the Fylde College’s Lancashire Energy HQ will deliver a comprehensive range of qualifications up to postgraduate level, with facilities including a drill simulator and emergency control simulator.
Mr Hancock says: “Shale gas is an enormous opportunity for the UK and one that we simply can’t afford to miss out on. Imagine if we had passed up a similar opportunity to go into the North Sea some fifty years ago. What if we’d let that oil and gas stay in the ground? What if we’d said it was too difficult or too controversial?
“The whole country would be poorer, finance would account for an even greater share of our economy; Aberdeen would be a seaside resort rather than a regional powerhouse.”