Up to 2,000 apprentices will be trained at the HS college which will be built at site in Birmingham and Doncaster.
A governing board, based in Birmingham, will be established to oversee the development of the college which will be spread across Birmingham Science Park Aston and Doncaster’s Lakeside Campus.
Securing the college presents a major boost to the city amid a shortage of engineering skills, as it will provide specialist vocational training to the next generation of engineers working on the High Speed 2 (HS2) project and beyond.
It follows an extensive period of lobbying by MPs up and down the country to host the college.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We will now rapidly move ahead with the development of the site at Birmingham Science Park Aston with a view to having it ready for students to be trained by 2017. It is also hugely encouraging that a governing board will be established in Birmingham to oversee the development of the college.
“The college will add to the presence of HS2 in the city, which is at the heart of the high-speed rail network, with the recent announcement that the project’s headquarters will also be in Birmingham.
“This gives the city a real advantage and will be a boost to Birmingham’s economy and that of the wider region.”
Prime Minister David Cameron launched the college in the city. He said: “As a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, this government is backing business with better infrastructure so that more jobs and opportunities are created for hardworking people.
“The benefits of high-speed rail will not just be seen by those commuting between London and the north, but through the thousands of local jobs and apprenticeships created because of HS2.
“The opening of this national college will also ensure that we have a pool of locally-trained workers with the right skills to draw upon for future projects.”
The governing board will be chaired by Terry Morgan, who is also the chair of Crossrail, and will include representatives from Birmingham and Doncaster, alongside HS2 and leading industry employers.
As many as 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities will be created by HS2, and there will be around 25,000 people employed during construction.
HS2 will support growth in the wider economy and it is predicted that this could lead to an additional 400,000 jobs.
Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said: “The opening of this college demonstrates that the UK is advancing as a global leader in rail manufacturing - in line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. This is the next step in building the highly skilled specialist workforce needed to develop the biggest infrastructure project this country has ever seen, and to enable our rail industry to compete in future global markets.”
Work will now begin on building the college sites and developing the courses which will help to train the next generation of engineers and address concerns of potential future skills shortages.