The UK Government has agreed to set up a national fracking college as part of its plans to create a wave of next generation shale gas extraction engineers.
The £1.5 million National College for Onshore Oil and Gas will be headquartered in Blackpool and linked to colleges in Chester, Redcar and Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth.
It will provide “high level specialist skills” needed by the industry, train teachers and regulators, run courses, carry out research as well as work with schools to encourage children to consider careers in the industry.
Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said the UK “can’t afford to miss out” on shale gas opportunities.
He added: “I am not prepared to pass up a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity, with the potential for industry to invest up to £33 billion in the next 15 years or so.
“Only by arming people with the skills they need to be shale specialists can we provide career opportunities for thousands of young people, boost the power and competitiveness of our firms and help the UK economy remain strong and competitive.”
The college will be jointly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), which led the bid to set up the college.
Earlier this week the Government announced plans to set up a sovereign wealth fund with future revenues from the extraction of shale gas.