A Birmingham college is hoping to boost business after teaming up with firms to launch a new entrepreneurial academy in the Midlands.
Birmingham Metropolitan College has joined forces with companies including Samsung, Caterpillar BCP, BMW and BSkyB for the new academy for 16 to 18-year-olds in Worcestershire.
The partnership between Birmingham Metropolitan College and Kidderminster College will provide education and training for up to 1,000 teenage and adult learners with the aim of getting them into employment.
It will be based in the historic Piano Building in Kidderminster, which will undergo a £6.1 million refurbishment before opening next September.
College bosses say the aim of the academy was to “encourage jobs growth” and local employers will be urged to contact the academy to let them know of skills shortages.
Birmingham Metropolitan principal and chief executive Dr Christine Braddock said: “It’s fantastic that so many people are supporting the new academy and the opportunities it will bring to the area.
“Refurbishment of the Piano Building has begun but is only the start of the process which will continue in the New Year and we hope this major development will continue to attract learners and businesses so they can benefit from the skills that can be gained from our extensive and outstanding curriculum.”
Birmingham Metropolitan College has invested £10 million in the academy, which will also house a Samsung Experience Academy where students will be trained in the use and development of digital technologies.
It will be the first academy in the UK to provide training for flagship products including Samsung 3D smart TV products and handheld devices.
The programmes are designed to help students gain the technical know-how and professionally-recognised qualifications to work in the technology industries.
The academy is the latest venture for Birmingham Metropolitan College, which was established in August 2009 following the amalgamation of the former Matthew Boulton and Sutton Coldfield colleges.
It currently serves more than 30,000 students at eight campuses across Birmingham.
Dr Braddock added: “Our association and partnership with major companies such as Caterpillar BCP, BMW, BSkyB, Samsung and our links to local organisations will develop apprenticeships and enhance job creation opportunities for residents from the Wyre Forest district.
“The investment Samsung will make in Kidderminster will be a huge bonus to the economy and will increase job opportunities. As a leading global company their involvement in Kidderminster is a great boost to the confidence of the area.”
The proposed curriculum at the academy will include computer games development, fashion design and retail, 3D animation and electronics.
Students enrolled on food preparation and hospitality courses will also have access to planned facilities including a cafeteria and bistro. The academy is also working with regional employers to build provide opportunities students when employers are looking to recruit new staff.
Members of the public were able to see first hand plans for the new academy following a launch event at the Piano Building on December 10.
Andy Dobson, principal and chief executive of Kidderminster College said: “Opening the doors of the Piano Building to the public for the first time was a major first step, so we are delighted our launch event was such a great success.
“Feedback gained from people about the education and training we will be offering was extremely positive, with many learners already expressing an interest in enrolling on learning programmes next year. We can now expand the opportunities from the significant work already carried out in the college and this will enable us to be more flexible and responsive to employer needs
“This investment will secure outstanding learning facilities to complement our existing successful provision.”