A new technical college located directly below the offices of Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy will provide “unique opportunities” for young people in the area.
The Tottenham University Technical College (UTC) will open next year as part of the Northumberland Park regeneration, funded by the Premier League football club.
Former Spurs defender Ledley King joined recently-appointed headteacher Deborah Ramm-Harpley at an open day for prospective students at White Hart Lane yesterday.
The new college, which will provide vocational training with a strict smart dress code and business-like hours of 8.30am to 5.15pm, will be located above the recently-opened Sainsbury’s supermarket and below the offices of Spurs chairman Mr Levy.
Founders of the new college, for students in Years 10 to 13, are hoping the hands-on training will boost the employment prospects of young people in the area who struggle with the conventional education system.
Headteacher Ms Ramm-Harpley, who lives in Alexandra Palace and has been in the teaching profession for 31 years, said: “We’re showing them the idea of a different education offer.
"The current secondary school system is one way – but we think this is far more exciting, innovative and inspirational way of planning their futures.
“It is employment specific - developing the skill base of young people. There is a huge gap in the market for employability and technical skills.
“What is important is they get the opportunity to be the best they can be. It is no good having qualifications if you can’t get a job. And working is important for their mental and physical well being, as well as financial.”
The college will specialise in health and sport, and students will receive mentoring as well as being expected to carry out independent learning.
Spurs ambassador and former defender Ledley King said: “We’re well aware of the problems faced by young people in the area. This is a brilliant opportunity for them to get the opportunities they need to show what they can do.
“When I was young, football was the only route and without that I would struggle to think what I would be doing now.
“I’ve seen the difference being made around here. I met people before and after they started their jobs at the new Sainsbury’s and to have a new job near where they live was massive for them.
“We want to get away from the days where football was the only option for some of these kids and it is about trying new things.
“I’ve met a lot of young boys and girls who have probably surprised themselves so it is about keeping an open mind and making a success of yourself.”
The college will be holding another open day next month before it recruits students for the opening in September.
Ms Ramm-Harpley said: “I’m looking forward to it. It is fantastically exciting and feeds in with my creative instinct. We’re providing an opportunity for young people that simply doesn’t exist in this area at the moment.”
To find out more about the UTC and other employment opportunities that exist in the local area, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation will be holding a Jobs Fair at White Hart Lane between 12noon and 4pm on Wednesday March 5.