Press release

Gloucestershire college to train young cyber security experts

Lord Nash announces a new university technical college for Gloucestershire

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

Teacher writing

Thousands of students in Gloucestershire will be trained to become experts in engineering and cyber security at a new college backed by leading local firms announced today.

SGS Berkeley Green University Technical College (UTC) will train up to 660 14- to 19-year-olds in digital technologies, cyber security and advanced manufacturing, with students gaining valuable technical qualifications while studying core academic GCSEs and A levels, such as English and maths.

The UTC will work with a number of local firms including engineering company Versarien, fire and security systems experts Allcooper, and Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, a world-leading supplier of aircraft landing gear and braking systems. The UTC will also be sponsored by the University of Gloucestershire, giving students the best possible preparation for working life or further study.

The projected growth in the south-west’s digital engineering and manufacturing sectors has led employers to call for more students to be trained in digital engineering and manufacturing, leading to the backing of a new school to address this shortfall in skills.

Schools Minister Lord Nash announced the college alongside a visit to meet engineering employers. He said:

Equipping young people with the skills they need to secure great jobs is a key part of our plan for education – resulting in the lowest level on record of young people not in education, employment or training.

SGS Berkeley Green UTC will provide Gloucestershire with generations of skilled digital technology, cyber security and advanced manufacturing experts. It is a perfect example of how we are placing technical education on a par with academic learning, while helping our thriving economy to flourish.

UTCs harness the talents of students, offering them hands-on learning alongside their GCSEs and A levels, to provide them with the technical knowledge and skills that employers demand.

Neill Ricketts, Chief Executive of Versarien, the main employer sponsor of the UTC, said:

The development of a UTC at Berkeley is fantastic news for the region and for businesses like ours. As we continue to expand, there is a pressure to ensure that we have access to the quantity and quality of technical people to fill the roles we will generate. This UTC will go a long way in ensuring these skills meet the demand of the region and I am delighted we will be part of this venture moving forward, helping to shape the future of any possible Brunels.

UTCs, the first of which opened in 2010, offer students a technical education using curricula developed in partnership with universities and employers. Students gain technical qualifications alongside core academic GCSEs, ensuring they develop the skills needed in a particular region or sector while preparing young people for life in modern Britain.

More than 10,000 pupils have benefited from attending UTCs and studio schools since they first opened in 2010 – highlighting the government’s commitment to ensuring world-class technical education.

The government has opened, and plans to open, more than 60 UTCs across the country, a number of which are in the south-west. These include:

Open UTCs

  • Bristol Technology & Engineering Academy is sponsored by the University of the West of England, City of Bristol College and Rolls Royce. It specialises in engineering and environmental technology and will serve 440 students when at full capacity.

  • UTC Plymouth is led by Plymouth University and sponsored by Babcock International Group along with other employer partners and City College Plymouth. The UTC will serve 650 pupils when at full capacity. The UTC specialises in marine engineering and manufacturing.

  • UTC Swindon specialises in engineering, with a focus of business and enterprise. It will cater for 600 students when at full capacity and is sponsored by Oxford Brookes University, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Honda.

UTCs in the pipeline

  • South Devon UTC will specialise in engineering and science (water and the environment). It will reflect the natural environment of the landscape, rivers and coastal waters in South Devon and cater for 600 students when at full capacity.

  • South Wiltshire UTC will specialise in science and engineering for the defence industries. It will be based in Salisbury and will cater for 630 pupils when at full capacity, It is sponsored by South Wiltshire College, The University of Southampton, Tetricus Science Park Incubation Unit, and partners include Wiltshire Council and Aspire Defence Services.

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Published 11 March 2015