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Hitachi college to build UK skills

Japanese manufacturing giant Hitachi is to set up a University Technical College in the North East to help it staff up its new train building plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

It is building the new trains that will run on the electrified Great Western and East Coast routes.

Nearly 600 carriages will be made in a factory to be built at Merchant Park, a site owned by Merchant Place Developments.

Construction of the £82M facility will start next month and will finish in summer 2015.

More than 730 skilled workers will be needed to work in the facility and Hitachi is currently working with Sunderland University and Bishop Auckland College to set up the new-look University Technical College.

University Technical Colleges are a new concept in education and offer 14 to 18 year olds the opportunity to take a full time, technically-oriented course of study.

Curriculums are heavily influenced by local and national employers who also provide support and work experience for students.

There are now 17 such technical colleges up and running across the country.

“We are a major, major investor in the UK economy,” said Hitachi Rail Europe chief executive and chairman Alistair Dormer.

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