College merger boosts technical offering

Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT) will be merging with South Essex College of Further and Higher Education (SEC).

Retaining the name PROCAT, the merging process must complete a number of stages before seeking the approval of the secretary of state for education later this year. If approved, the merger will formally start in the New Year 2019 and will seek further investment towards developing the Basildon town centre campus as its headquarters.

PROCAT chairman, David Sherlock said: "Our dream has been to create a technical university for Basildon. To do that we need larger scale as well as excellence.

"We are confident that this merger will provide that, establishing a powerhouse of technical creativity for the thriving Thames Gateway."

The merger aims to train more people in construction and the technical industries to boost employment prospects in the Thames Estuary region.

SEC principal and chief executive, Angela O'Donoghue, said: "Our decision to merge with PROCAT has been underpinned by our shared commitment in providing technical training opportunities up to degree level to meet the skills needs in the Thames Estuary and beyond.

"The merger with PROCAT, alongside our upcoming Basildon town centre campus, present truly exciting times for all."

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