Lincoln College to run Saudi Arabia colleges

Lincoln College Lincoln College is the largest provider of business training and skills in Lincolnshire

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Lincoln College has been awarded a £250m contract by Saudi Arabia's government to set up and run three colleges in the Middle East country.

The college had to compete against 50 other applicants from across the world.

In total, 26 colleges are being set up across Saudi Arabia as part of its Colleges of Excellence programme, aimed at improving education and training.

Lincoln College currently has campuses in Lincoln, Gainsborough and also Newark in Nottinghamshire.

Saudi Arabia opened 10 colleges last September as part its programme.

'Local benefits'

Simon Plummer, managing director of Lincoln College International, said: "We aim to replicate the success we've had in the UK in Saudi Arabia and help the 40% of under-30s who are currently unemployed to find jobs.

"Our cluster comprises of two all-male colleges and one all-female all with a clear focus on developing English language skills in a vocational context."

Mr Plummer added: "Staff and students here will also benefit as surpluses from the five-year £250m contract will be used to further improve the facilities at campuses in Lincoln, Newark and Gainsborough."

The college hopes to employ 100 staff, the majority from the East Midlands, to work on the project and hopes to attract companies from the region to provide services and equipment needed to run the colleges.

Lincoln College, rated outstanding by education watchdog Ofsted, is the largest provider of business training and skills in Lincolnshire.

It has also been named as the preferred organisation to take over Trent Valley Academy (TVA) in Gainsborough.

E-Act, one of the biggest chains of academies in England, lost control of almost a third of its schools, including TVA because of concerns about its performance.

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