UNIVERSITY Centre at Blackburn College will have 10 new courses on offer from September to cope with increasing demand.

The centre is gearing up towards September 2015 when the cap on university numbers will be lifted – a move that will allow more students to study locally in Blackburn.

The new courses will include full-time foundation degrees in Public Service Management (Uniformed Services), which has been designed with a particular focus on the army, fire and rescue service and police, and Public Service Management (Housing).

Both are validated by Lancaster University, ranked in the top one per cent of universities in the world.

Dean of higher education at UCBC, Dr Janet Thompson, said: “We have seen huge economic and social challenges facing students and graduates throughout the UK and are witness to some of the highest figures for youth unemployment on record.

“There are many organisations out there attempting to address these issues.

“We are playing our part by offering courses to meet the demands of industry as well as bringing organisations from our region with different backgrounds together to share good practice, formulate strategies, encourage dialogue and develop appropriate curriculum through collaborations.”

There will also be new BSc (Hons) Construction degree courses, covering building services engineering, building surveying, civil engineering, project management and sustainable design in construction, also validated by Lancaster University.

Meanwhile, a foundation degree in Paralegal Studies, approved by the University of South Wales, has been developed in response to the growing demand for suitably skilled and qualified paralegals.

Further collaborations with the University of Cumbria will see the start of a foundation degree in Complementary Therapies.

The programme is set to include pathways for sports massage, reflexology and holistic massage specialisms.

The University Centre will also offer a HNC/D in Computing and Software Development from September, an addition to the existing IT curriculum specifically designed for those already in employment.

Construction is also under way of the new £5.5m Motor Vehicle Centre, which will consist of five classrooms, two computer labs, an MOT lane, a diagnostic lab and a refinishing centre.

The centre, for students looking to pursue careers in the motor vehicle industry, will also open this September.