The public are being invited to a consultation event over a new technical academy planned for Bedford.
The academy is a new free option in education for pupils aged 13 plus with the focus on technology training, leading to technical qualifications.
The proposed Bedford Technical Academy will offer a “rigourous combination of academic and technical education” leading to a Technical Baccalaureate - equivalent to A Levels - a technical qualification in a specialised area, and a maths qualification.
Supported by employers, the technical academy will offer 624 places at full capacity of students aged 13 -19, giving them the chance to command better jobs in the future.
Specialist studies will include: Creative Technologies (product design and games design), Science (lab and IT technician, veterinary nursing and health professional) and Service Technologies (hotel and retail management).
The consultation event is being held from 10am until noon on Saturday, November 16, at The Bedford Sixth Form, Bromham Road, Bedford. All are welcome.
This is the latest project by Bedford College, which has been working on a number of educational projects in the area, including Bedford Free School which opened in September 2012 and now has a waiting list for years 8, 9 and 10.
Principal of Bedford College, Ian Pryce, said: “We are in a global economy where business, manufacturing and services can be sourced from anywhere in the world and our young people have to be trained to compete. Even in those areas where people cannot be replaced by computers, staff need to master and manage technology.
“We do not shy away from challenges because they are difficult. Our job is to shape a future for the young people of Bedfordshire and their families.
“We respond to public demand and this is evidenced by the number of parents and students who want to take up the educational opportunities we have made available.”
He added: “Without the right training young people will face a future of poorly paid employment and all that means for them and their community.
“We must focus on technology, technology, technology.”