Midland cities are battling against each other for the right to build a major new college to train thousands of engineers who will build a high speed rail line.
Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton are all bidding to host the college, which will provide a major boost to the local skills base.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin revealed the range of bids as he spoke in the House of Commons.
But the region faces competition from Milton Keynes and Leicestershire, which are also hoping to build the college.
It will be used to train engineers building the planned high speed rail line known as HS2 between London and Birmingham, which will later be extended to Manchester and Leeds
Mr McLoughlin told MPs: “From Coventry to Wolverhampton to Birmingham, all those areas are making bids for the college and I am very pleased about that.”
He was urged to bring the college to Birmingham by MP Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston), who highlighted plans to build a major high speed rail station near Curzon Street in the city centre.
She said: “I agree that the HS2 skills academy should be located at the centre of the project, which is right on Curzon street, on the east side of Birmingham.”
Coventry MP Jim Cunningham (Lab Coventry South) told him: “May we make a bid for the new skills academy to be located in the West Midlands, preferably in the Coventry area?”
Warwickshire MP Marcus Jones (Con Nuneaton) said: “The skills academy is vital so that we ensure that HS2 is built by skilled British workers . . . where better to build the skills academy in the geographical heart of the country, at the centre of this project, than in Nuneaton?”
Birmingham’s plans for a £20 million college, drawn up by the city council and the Local Enterprise Partnership, which is led by local employers, is backed by 60 businesses including Arup and Balfour Beatty and forms part of wider plans for the city to create up to 50,000 jobs from the high speed rail line.
Land at Eastside Locks had been set aside for the college, but there are three other sites on the bid – Birmingham Science Park Aston, Riverside in Perry Barr and Jennens Road in Eastside.
It will be used to train engineers building the planned high speed rail line known as HS2 between London and Birmingham, which will later be extended to Manchester and Leeds.
Mr McLoughlin told the Commons: “In January, the Government announced its intention to set up a new high speed rail college to boost the development of railway and engineering skills across the UK.
“In March, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills launched a consultation to identify the location for the new main site.
“Responses are currently being assessed and we intend to make an announcement of the preferred site later this year. The college is expected to open in 2017.”