Press release

New technical schools provide job boost for young people

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

Top employers including Jaguar Land Rover, Hitachi, Dyson and Kew Botanical Gardens back the new schools.

engineering student

Thousands more places offering specialist, technical education are to be created after proposals for 7 new university technical colleges (UTCs) and 4 new studio schools were announced today by Chancellor George Osborne.

The new schools, backed by local businesses and universities, will provide more than 5,000 places (when full) for 14- to 19-year-olds. The schools will offer a more technical or vocational based education using curriculums developed in partnership with universities and employers. This will ensure students are developing the skills needed in a particular region or sector.

The latest approvals mean that all open UTCs or studio schools, or those approved to open, now offer in total places for more than 50,000 young people, allowing them to train for careers that are key to the economy, such as engineering and science.

The new schools will work with more than 40 major national and local employers including Jaguar Land Rover, Dyson and Kew Botanical Gardens. In addition, 7 universities will work alongside the new UTCs to provide the next generation of school leavers with the technical knowledge and other skills that industry demands.

George Osborne said:

University technical colleges are a key part of the government’s long term economic plan because they help ensure young people have the right skills so they can maximise their potential.

The new colleges will provide the next generation of British workers with the skills they need to secure the high-tech jobs of the future.

This is an excellent example of how we are delivering a sustainable and resilient recovery by laying the foundations for a brighter economic future for the UK.

New schools approved today across England include:

  • South Durham UTC, Newton Aycliffe - the first UTC in the north-east is planning to open in 2016. The UTC is sponsored by 2 major engineering employers - Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent - in partnership with the University of Sunderland. It will specialise in engineering and advanced manufacturing

  • Grange Studio School, Bristol - planning to open in 2015. The school’s sponsors include Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust sponsor, the West of England Aerospace Forum and Business West (Chamber of Commerce) and it will specialise in developing skills aimed at high tech, advanced engineering and creative and digital industries.

A full list of all the new schools can be found in notes to editors.

Schools Minister Lord Nash said:

Equipping young people with the skills they need to secure great jobs is a key part of this government’s long-term economic plan.

These new schools are such an important part of our education reform programme because they are particularly tailored for young people with an aptitude for more technical learning. It is right that technical education is on a par with academic learning.

These schools will 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.

UTCs, the first of which opened in 2010, integrate academic study with practical learning, teaching core GCSEs alongside technical qualifications. Both UTCs and studio schools develop their curriculum in partnership with local universities and employers to meet the employment needs of the region.

All UTCs are sponsored by universities alongside employers. More than 50 different universities are now involved in sponsoring the 17 UTCs open and 40 now in development, including eight Russell Group institutions.

Lord Baker, Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said:

UTCs are now an established and growing part of the education system. Developing and nurturing an ambitious and capable future workforce is vital to the success of our economy. UTCs make sense and work for employers, universities and, most importantly, young people.

Studio schools, which also first opened in 2010, provide specialisms linked to local skills shortages, and an emphasis on the skills needed for employment. They combine academic study (with a core of maths, English and science plus other subjects) with cross-curricular learning tackling real-life problems and projects.

David Nicoll, Chief Executive, Studio Schools Trust, said:

Today’s announcement is good news for both young people and employers. Studio Schools are spreading - and will soon be a network of almost 50 - because they’ve shown their worth in providing young people with the skills and attitudes they need to make a success of work and life.

Keith Jordan, Managing Director, Hitachi Rail Europe, said:

I am delighted that Hitachi Rail Europe’s joint application with Sunderland University and Gestamp Tallent for a University Technical College has been given the go-ahead today. By attending our university technical college, pupils will be able to gain a better understanding of the skills needed for a career in technology and explore whether this is a career path suited to their own abilities.

For businesses in the north-east of England and across the whole country, it is vital that we attract young people into technical and engineering professions from an early age. Working with them jointly with Gestamp Tallent and under the auspices of the University of Sunderland, we hope that we will engage their curiosity with regards to engineering, to find a career path that best suits them, while developing tomorrow’s workforce for Hitachi’s new train factory in Newton Aycliffe.

Notes to editors

  1. The 7 UTCs and 4 studio schools have been approved to enter the pre-opening stage. The groups will now finalise their plans in readiness to open from September 2015.
  2. There are 17 open UTCs. The 7 new UTC projects approved today bring the total to 57 UTCs open or in development. These new projects will create opportunities for over 4,400 young people. This brings the total additional places created by UTCs open and in development to almost 35,000 enabling these young people to train as the engineers, scientists and technicians of the future. Over 20 employers are working with the 7 UTC projects announced today, bringing the total to over 500 employers now involved in UTCs. Employers involved in these new UTC projects include Hitachi Rail Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Arup and Bentley.
  3. 28 studio schools are already open. The 4 studio schools approved today will create opportunities for more than 1,000 students. This will bring the total open and in development to 49, creating around 16,000 places in total. They will specialise in a range of vocational education subjects including entrepreneurship skills, computing, retail, catering and STEM. Over 20 employers are working with the 4 studio school projects announced today, bringing the total employers to over 400. Employers involved in these new studio school projects include Intel, Radisson Blu, Kew Botanical Gardens, Dyson and Hill Dickinson.
  4. Pen portraits of the UTCs and studio schools approved today:

Bromley UTC

Bromley UTC will cater for 600 students and specialise in the health and wellbeing science sectors. This project is led by Bromley College in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University and a number of employers including Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Nuffield Health and Mytime Active. The school will use a project-based learning approach supported by coaching and mentoring.

Crewe UTC

Crewe UTC will cater for 800 students and specialise in engineering, manufacturing and design in an area where there is a high regional demand for engineers and technicians. This project is led by Bentley and OSL Rail in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and Cheshire East Council. A number of other employers are also engaged including Siemens, Bosch, Oliver Valves, Chevron Racing and Optical 3D.

Leeds UTC

Leeds UTC will cater for 600 students and specialise in advanced manufacturing and engineering. The project is sponsored by the employers Kodak, Siemens, Agfa Graphics and Unilever, in partnership with the University of Leeds. The UTC will integrate vocational and academic subjects in a business-based environment.

Scarborough UTC

Scarborough UTC is sponsored by Unison Ltd, McCain Foods (GB) and Dale Power Solutions, along with the University of Hull and a host of other employer partners. The UTC will specialise in advanced engineering and design and control. The UTC will cater for 600 students and will deliver a curriculum that provides students with the skills that local engineering companies need now and in the future to support the predicted growth in the sector.

Sheffield Human Science and Digital Technologies UTC

Sheffield Human Sciences and Digital Technologies UTC will cater for 600 students and specialise in human sciences and digital technologies. The project is sponsored by the Sheffield College and Sheffield Hallam University and employer partners include Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, Boeing (Advance Manufacturing Research Centre) and MLS Contracts. The curriculum will be underpinned by work-based learning and employer-led assignments.

South Durham UTC

South Durham UTC will cater for 600 students and specialise in engineering and advanced manufacturing and will be the first UTC to open in the north-east. The project is sponsored by the University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent Ltd, 2 major engineering employers from the rail and automotive industries in the region. The UTC’s curriculum has been designed with a focus on local employer need in mind.

WMG Academy for Young Engineers

The WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Solihull will cater for 640 students and specialise in engineering and science. Led by WMG (formerly known as the Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, EEF (the Engineering Employers’ Federation), West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, with support from other employers including Aero-Engine Controls (part of the Rolls Royce group). It will utilise the employers’ expertise in the automotive, aerospace and construction industries to help prepare students for careers in local high growth sectors. The trust will be opening their first UTC - the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry - this September.

The Studio @ DEYES

The Studio @ Deyes will be based in Liverpool and cater for 300 students. It is sponsored by the Lydiate Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust that is led by Deyes High School. The specialisms are professional and financial management; advanced manufacturing and logistics; and digital-business. The studio school is supported by a range of employers from a number of sectors, including Hill Dickinson, Radisson Blu, Merseytravel and Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce. The school will aim to address local employment needs and skill shortages

Grange Studio School

The Grange Studio School will be based in Bristol and cater for 360 students. It is proposed by the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust who sponsor 11 primary and secondary academies in Bristol, Bath and Weston Super Mare all of which are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The specialisms are high tech industries, advanced engineering and creative and digital industries and the proposers will work in partnership with a number of local employers across south Gloucestershire.

The Mendip Studio for Electronic Engineering and Bioscience

The studio school will be based in Radstock, Somerset and cater for 300 students. The specialisms are electronic engineering and bioscience. Writhlington School, the proposer, have real expertise in this field, with a strong national and international reputation among local higher education institutions and employers. Employer partners include the Dyson Foundation, Kew, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Intel.

Plymouth Studio School

Plymouth Studio School will specialise in lifestyle services, sport and the visitor economy. It will cater for 300 students. The proposers are City College Plymouth working in partnership with the University of St Mark and St John, Akkeron Group/Plymouth Argyle Football Club, Duke of Cornwall Hotel and Plymouth County Council. The studio school will join with UTC Plymouth and the Plymouth School of Creative Arts free school to encourage young people to consider alternative routes in education

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Published 5 August 2014