News story

15 new university technical colleges: employers back plan

Fifteen brand new university technical colleges (UTCs) have today been approved to open in 2013 and 2014. They will have involvement from around 200 high-profile employers. They will also have significant input from world-class universities, such as Cambridge and Warwick.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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  • Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic get on board

Fifteen brand new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) have today been approved to open in 2013 and 2014. They will have involvement from around 200 high-profile employers - including household names like Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. They will also have significant input from world-class universities, such as Cambridge and Warwick.

They range from a UTC specialising in aviation engineering, located close to London Heathrow Airport, to one in Warwick that will focus on delivering a business-like education - with input from over 30 employers - in engineering with digital technology. One project will also be based at the new MediaCityUK in Salford - home to much of the BBC and other media outlets.

UTCs will create opportunities for more than 20,000 young people to train as the engineers and scientists of the future - playing a crucial role in the UK’s long-term economic growth. They will offer hands-on technical learning alongside academic GCSEs and A levels.

The projects approved today join 17 UTCs that are already working to open this September or next. The number of UTCs in the pipeline now exceeds the Government’s ambition to create 24 by 2014.

Schools Minister Lord Hill said:

I am very pleased to be announcing another wave of strong UTC proposals. Right around the country there is a lot of enthusiasm from employers, universities, pupils and parents for high quality rigorous technical education. They provide more choice for children as well as helping provide the kind of highly skilled technicians our economy needs. The response from employers to UTCs speaks for itself.

UTCs are Academies for 14-19-year-olds. Pupils choose to go to them at ages 14 or 16. They focus on providing technical education that meets the needs of modern business. Each has one or two specialisms - ranging from engineering, to manufacturing, to construction or bio-medical sciences. Students spend around 60 per cent of their time on core academic subjects, and the rest of their time learning specific technical skills and qualifications.

All UTCs are sponsored by a local university and employers. The involvement of universities and employers means that students benefit from work placements, guest speakers, and a curriculum designed by experts in the field. Many also run longer term times and operate business hours to help prepare students for the world of work.

The combination of a strong technical and academic education ensures that students are ready for work or further study at college or university.

The projects approved today include:

  • Warwick UTC has involvement from the University of Warwick and Jaguar Land Rover, amongst other local stakeholders. It will offer a business-like education to 640 pupils - working to business hours - and will specialise in engineering with digital technology.
  • Heathrow Aviation Engineering UTC will specialise in aviation engineering. Its sponsors include Brunel University, BAA, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and RAF Northolt. It will offer 600 students the opportunity to acquire the skills for an industry which contributes around £17billion to the UK economy in economic output.
  • UTC Cambridge is sponsored by Cambridge Regional College, Cambridge University Health Partners and a range of employers which are leaders in biomedical and environmental science and technologies. The UTC will specialise in these areas. It will cater for 670 students.
  • The MediaCityUK UTC will be based in the heart of the country’s first media city on Salford Quays. It will cater for 720 pupils, who will specialise in skills linked to the creative and digital industries. It will help ensure that employers at MediaCityUK and their supply chains have access to the enterprising, skilled talent pool they need to flourish. It is also important for the local area, as some neighbourhoods immediately surrounding MediaCityUK are within the top one per cent most deprived in England.
  • Elstree UTC will be based in Hertfordshire and will offer a technical education to 600 students. It will offer two specialisms: entertainment technologies and crafts, and electronic engineering and digital technologies. Elstree students will also have a longer school day than students at a traditional secondary school. Its proposed location in Elstree means it will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of high-profile entertainment and creative industries in Hertfordshire and London.

Notes to Editors

  • The UTCs approved today are:
UTC LA Specialism Main Sponsor Other Sponsors
Swindon UTC Swindon Engineering with Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Oxford Brookes University
UTC Bluewater Kent Engineering, Integrated Computer Science Leigh Academies Trust University og Greenwich, Bluewater, Eurostar, Kenard, North West Kent College
Heathrow Aviation UTC LB Hillingdon Aviation Engineering Northwood School Brunel University, BAA plc, British Airways plc, Virgin Atlantic, LB of Hillingdon, RAF Northolt
The East London UTC (ELUTec) Havering Mechanical (manufacturing) and Engineering and Product Design Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence University College London, Loughborough University, Ford Motor Company, Prospects Learning Foundation
Norfolk UTC Norfolk Advanced Engineering and Energy Skills Norwich City College of Further and Higher Education University of East Anglia, East Anglian Offshore Wind, Gardline Group, Lotus Cars Ltd, Aquaterra Energy, The Mason Trust, OPITO, East of England Energy Group, Warren Services
Elstree UTC Hertfordshire Entertainment Technologies and Crafts, Electronic Engineering and Digital Technologies David Meller, Chairman and Lead Sponsor of The Harefield Academy and Bushey Academy University of Hertfordshire, Sherr Technologies, BBC Elstree Studios, Endemol, Universal Music Group, Warner Brothers, Sony Computer Entertainment, T&B Contractors, Greenhouse, Venson, Automotive Solutions, Experian, Manpower, Exemplas, Global Radio, Ambassador Theatre Group
Harlow UTC Essex Environmental Engineering and Medical Technology Harlow College Anglia Ruskin University, Johnson Controls, Pearson UK, Joint Contracts Tribunal, Princess Alexandria Hospital
UTC Cambridge Cambridge Bio-medical Science and Technology, Environmental Science and Technology Cambridge Regional College Cambridge University Health Partners, Cambridge University Hospitals, Institute of Animal Technology, Parkside Federation Academies, Medical Research Council, Napp Pharmaceuticals Holdings ltd, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, The Cube ltd, Cambridge Cleantech ltd, The Barbraham Institute, NHS East of England: Multi-Professional Deanery, Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridgeshire County Council
Lincoln UTC Lincolnshire Engineering and Core Science University of Lincoln Lincoln College, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd
Warwick UTC Coventry Engineering (with Digital Technology) University of Warwick Jaguar Land Rover
West Midlands Construction UTC Walsall Construction and the application of Information Technology in the Built Environment National Construction College?CITB-Construction Skills University of Wolverhampton Walsall College
Birkenhead UTC Wirral Engineering Cammell Laird Ltd Liverpool John Moores University, University of Liverpool, Mersey Maritime, Wirral Metropolitan College
Liverpool Low Carbon and SuperPort UTC Liverpool Engineering and Logistics Liverpool John Moores University Arup, Balfour Beatty Engineering Services ltd, BlackBurne House Group, Brock Carmichael Architects, Cofely GDF Suez, Eldonian Group ;td, Enterprise Plc, E.ON Energy, Groundwork Merseyside, Laing O'Rourke, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision, Mersey Maritime Group, Mersey Travel, Morgan Sindal Plc, Peel Land and Property (Ports Ltd), Peel Ports ltd, Sinclair Knight Merz, The Mersey Partnership, Liverpool Community College
Energy Coast UTC Cumbria Energy Energus Academy Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Lakes College West Cumbria, Gen II
MediaCityUK UTC Salford Creative Industries and Entrepreneurship The Aldridge Foundation The Univeristy of Salford, The Lowry, Salford City College
  • In addition to these 15 UTCs:

Two are already open - the JCB Academy in Staffordshire, and the Black Country UTC in Walsall (both West Midlands).

17 others are already in the pre-opening phase.

This brings the total to 32 since May 2010 (the Government’s ambition was to approve 24 by 2014/15).

Three UTCs will open in September:

Aston University UTC. This is a new building. The Principal is in place and the curriculum is being developed.

Hackney UTC. This will open on a site presently owned by Hackney Community College. Building, refurbishment and equipment costs have been agreed and a Principal has been appointed.

Central Bedfordshire UTC is supported by Cranfield University and the University of Bedfordshire. The Principal has been appointed.

  • 27 applications were received from sponsors wishing to set up UTCs in this application wave.

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Published 29 May 2012