Plans are being drawn up for a new university campus in Essex to open within the next three years.
According to Basildon Council, a new technical university could open within the borough by 2023.
Focusing on apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships, the university would work with local employers like Ford, Leonardo’s and NatWest Bank.
The proposal is part of the ongoing Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) plan, which proposes a joint South Essex council covering Thurrock, Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Southend-on-Sea.
Council leader Gavin Callaghan said: “Our ambitions for a new technical university match our own ambitions for growth and our evolving economy within South Essex.
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“The university will provide skills and learning for a range of sectors, and assist in attracting new sectors by providing a spectrum of courses that are directly aligned to the economic sectors on which the future of the region depends.
“It will transform the current higher education offering in the sub-region with a comprehensive and consistent portfolio of work-based learning courses.
“And best of all, this will all happen locally; giving our young people the opportunity to move on to high skilled employment with major reputable companies locally too.
“Our plan is to continue to work with businesses, providers of higher education and with the authorities across South Essex so that we can start the first degree apprenticeships here in September 2023.”
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Graham Hoare OBE, Executive Director of Business Transformation and Chairman of Ford of Britain, added: “We are happy to help and support Basildon and ASELA in framing a proposal which could help Ford meet their future higher level technical training requirements in the Essex area.”
If built, it would become the fourth major university campus in Essex, following the Anglia Ruskin University campus in Chelmsford, and the two University of Essex campuses in Colchester and Southend-on-Sea.
Basildon, Essex,had a new South Essex College campus built in the town centre over the past few years.
The Centre for Digital Technologies sits on the site of the former Basildon market, and will accept its first students on campus as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow.