Following central government’s pledge to have three million apprenticeships in the UK by 2020, the Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills visited the planned site of a training facility that aims to contribute to the target.

Nick Boles MP was shown the location of the new iMET centre at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Zone on Friday (April 1) that will deliver teaching for advanced technical skills in the manufacturing, engineering and technology sectors.

Speaking to The Hunts Post, Mr Boles said: "Huntingdonshire is one of the fastest growth areas in the country, a lot of the growth has been service based but there has been a call for high tech and advanced manufacturing and high level skills for jobs and this centre will invest in the fundamental skills of young people for industry and in jobs.

"I know this is just a muddy field today but the strength of vision and commitment here will soon make this innovative facility a reality."

During his visit to the site Mr Boles highlighted that there are a number of reasons for the shortfall in skills and apprentices including "maths teaching that has gone on and has not be adequate".

As a part of the event the minister met project stakeholders and celebrated the confirmation of the £10.5million capital funding that was secured from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) Growth Deal.

"I am delighted to see that the LEP has secured this important investment in the skills that businesses need for future growth," added Mr Boles.

The new centre, anchored by Huntingdonshire Regional College, will support the growth of companies at Alconbury Weald and in the local area.

College principal Susanne Stent said: "This centre is going to provide advanced skills for individuals, employers and for industry to provide a competitive advantage. It is going to be a new type of training facility which is a collaborative project and we are going to draw in everyone involved in the project as much as possible.

The iMET facility is due to open in the summer of 2017.