Forget the skills gap – University Technical Colleges are training the next generation of engineers

By Jan.30, 2014

Tomorrow, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills will issue the latest Employer Skills Survey, which claims that although job vacancies are returning to pre-recession levels many employers are still finding it hard to recruit people with the right skills.

University Technical Colleges are new schools developed to fill the skills gap by training young engineers who have the talent and skills industry demands.

  • Engineering students at Royal Greenwich UTC are learning to build the railways of the future with Transport for London and Network Rail
  • A new generation of GPs and Pharmacists are studying at the Liverpool Life Sciences UTC with the help of consultants from the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Redx
  • Young motor racing engineers are learning their craft with the help of McClaren at the Silverstone UTC
  • Taylor Wimpey is working with the Bucks UTC to give students the skills they’ll need to build the homes of the future

In response to the research Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust said:

“The UK CES Employer Skills Survey, out today, confirms that organisations find it hard to recruit the skilled people they need. It also claims skills shortages are getting worse and may be holding back the UK’s economic recovery. Such deficiencies have persisted over time in some sectors and occupations making the need for home grown talent greater than ever.

This underlines the importance of new opportunities at 14+, led and supported by employers.

University Technical Colleges are leading the way by offering high-quality science, engineering and technical education alongside core subjects such as English and maths.

The 50, when fully operational, will take around 30,000 students, 17 are currently open.”

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are technical academies for 14 to 19 year-olds. They have university and employer sponsors and combine practical and academic studies. UTCs specialise in subjects that need modern, technical, industry-standard equipment – such as engineering and construction – which are taught alongside business skills and the use of ICT.

Taylor Wimpey Chief Executive Pete Redfern said:

“We are proud to be supporting and working with Bucks UTC to ensure their students are ‘work ready’ and can demonstrate the qualities that we at Taylor Wimpey, as well as the rest of the construction industry, seek in future employees.

As well as shaping the Bucks UTC curriculum and providing practical training in construction, we are sharing our industry expertise through mentoring, work experience and career guidance, helping the students to gain the right skills, strong work ethic and practical knowledge to improve their chances of securing a job in the housebuilding industry.”

Nick Muntz, Managing Director, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd supporting the Lincoln UTC said:

“Siemens strongly believes that the UTC initiative will provide a unique opportunity for employers to engage with future workforce.”


Posted in UTC@MediaCityUK
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