Central Bedfordshire University Training College combines GCSEs and A Levels with technical qualifications in disciplines such as engineering and product design. It is due to open in September and is recruiting students for years 10-12.
Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, which represents hundreds of organisations based in the county, says the UTC is an opportunity to tackle skills gaps and to develop the local economy.
Its umbrella body the British Chambers of Commerce has urged the government to work alongside business to identify skills gaps and ensure the education system is responsive to the needs of the economy.
Bedfordshire Chamber chief executive Cheryl Smart (pictured) said: “Having a UTC in Central Bedfordshire offers us the opportunity to foster young people with the skills, aptitude and potential to help create a world-class economy.
“Businesses have been telling us for some time that the school curriculum does not produce young people with the skills needed. This new concept could be the answer and as a Chamber of Commerce we are delighted that Central Bedfordshire UTC is playing its part in creating the leaders and technicians of the next generation.”