New academy at Exeter airport to train people for high-tech jobs

Council leader Councillor John Hart said: "We must plan for the future and do all we can to protect

Council leader Councillor John Hart said: "We must plan for the future and do all we can to protect and improve our economy." Picture: contributed - Credit: Archant

The vacant former Flybe Training Academy at Exeter Airport has been bought by Devon County Council.

Exeter College, on behalf of the council, will now run a new academy to offer training for high-tech jobs in engineering, digital, construction and clean growth.

Devon County Council is investing almost £4million into the project.

The Academy has been vacant since Flybe went into administration at the start of March.

Cllr John Hart, leader of Devon County Council said: “We must all continue to be extremely vigilant and maintain the restrictions which have seen our region emerge as the area which has been least affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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“But as lockdown is gradually eased, we must plan for the future and do all we can to protect and improve our economy.

“Creating and retaining a highly skilled workforce underpins the economic prosperity of Devon and will be a key part of our economic recovery plan after Covid-19.”

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It is hoped the academy will offer inspirational opportunities for the region’s young people, while also offering adults the chance to upskill or retrain into a chosen career.

Devon’s Cabinet member for economy and skills, Cllr Rufus Gilbert, added: “High-tech skills for engineering and digital are vital to our economy.

“Engineering and its aligned professions account for around seven or eight per cent of Devon’s workforce but provide around 20 per cent of our output.

“Some two per cent of Devon’s engineers retire each year and there are key gaps in the engineering sector. So ensuring a steady supply of experienced engineering professionals is a key element of our long-term growth plans.

“They will be an important part of our plans to reset our economy for a future skills agenda taking in high-tech engineering, digital and data, advanced manufacturing, sustainable construction and clean growth and energy.

And depending on how the aviation industry recovers from the pandemic, we are also well placed to provide training for careers in aerospace as well.

Our young people are our future. This is an excellent plan and we are doing it for them.

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