From education to employment

Government approves further 15 UTCs

A further 15 University Technical Colleges (UTCs) have been approved by the coalition-government over the next two years.

The total number will increase to 34 and will help to play a crucial role in the long-term growth of the UK’s economy.

UTCs are academies sponsored by local employers and universities in England that create opportunities for more than 20,000 14 to 19-year-old engineers and scientists of the future.

The aim is to offer hands-on technical learning alongside core academic courses such as GCSEs and A-levels.

For the past four years, the Baker Dearing Educational Trust (BDT) has been working with the Department for Education, local employers, universities and further education colleges to develop a national network of UTCs.

Lord Kenneth Baker, chairman of the BDT, said: “The coalition government continues to show its commitment to these new colleges for 14 to 19 year olds by expanding the national network.

“Companies up and down the country who need highly skilled technicians and engineers support UTCs which bind universities and industry into their establishment, governance and curriculum design.

“UTCs will help our economic growth and almost 300 companies are supporting these 34 UTCs which is an outstanding industrial commitment.”

The UTC movement is backed by major players from the British industry such as Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive officer at Jaguar Land Rover, which is supporting the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick, said: “The UTC will help to address very important issues at the beginning of the educational cycle.

“It will excite young people about careers in engineering, and develop the pool of talent which we can all rely upon for future generations to come.”

Jenny Ball, HR director for Ford of Britain, which is supporting the East London UTC, said: “Ford very strongly supports the principle of the University Technical College, enabling school children to concentrate on the engineering and technical disciplines while achieving their qualifications.

“We believe this will inspire and enable the next generation into achieving engineering excellence.”

Each UTC will focus on providing a specialism varying from engineering, manufacturing, construction or bio-medical sciences to meet the requirements of modern business.

John Syvret, CBE, CEO of Cammell Laird supporting the Birkenhead UTC, said: “Cammell Laird and its supply chain have a great need for highly skilled engineers, scientists and technicians.

“The UTC will provide a world class facility to develop this home grown talent not only satisfying the opportunities in the North West but it will play a pivotal role in addressing the nation’s skills gap, whilst promoting a passion for engineering, manufacturing and science.”

Syema Majeed

(Pictured: BDT chairman Lord Kenneth Baker)

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