Press release

New university technical college to serve booming Hull economy

Chancellor George Osborne announces a new technical school in Hull.

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

engineering student

Chancellor George Osborne today (5 February 2015) announced a new university technical college (UTC) in Hull to meet the surge in demand for skilled young people in the area, following a boost in the local economy.

From next year the Ron Dearing UTC will open to meet a growing need for more young people with engineering skills in Hull, resulting from projects like Green Port Hull - a plant predicted to create 1,000 jobs in the manufacture, assembly and service of off-shore wind technology.

The college is sponsored by the University of Hull and the Spencer Group, one of the largest privately owned engineering and construction firms in the country. It will work with Siemens, KCOM Group and Ebuyer as employer partners to give their students the best possible preparation for working life or further study in engineering.

The school will train up to 600 students in digital technology and mechatronics - a combination of mechanical, electrical, telecommunications and computer engineering. Students will gain technical qualifications in these subjects, while studying core academic GCSEs, such as English and maths.

The school is named after Ron Dearing, the co-founder of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which develops and promotes UTCs, who was born and studied in Hull.

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 being prepared for life in modern Britain.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

Backing the core strengths of Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire is a key part of our long-term economic plan for the region. Ensuring that local people have access to the high-end skills they need to secure great careers is one element of this and that’s why today we are approving plans for a new university technical college in Hull, to train engineers for the renewables industry and other sectors, catering for 600 students.

These specialist colleges develop ambitious and highly skilled future workforces and Ron Dearing UTC graduates will play a vital role in helping us to build our northern powerhouse.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan 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.

The Ron Dearing UTC will provide Hull with the skills and knowledge that its booming economy is demanding. It is a perfect example of how we are placing technical education on a par with academic learning.

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.

Finbarr Dowling, Project Director at Siemens for Green Port Hull, said:

Siemens, along with our partners in the UTC, believe that the Humber area needs a sustainable supply of talented and work ready young people. In particular we have identified digital skills and engineering as the 2 focus areas for the Ron Dearing UTC.

The UTC will provide several pathways for young people at the age of 19, including further study at the University of Hull, higher apprenticeships, internships and jobs in local industry. For the more entrepreneurial students the UTC and its business partners will support their creativity through mentoring, giving the students access to expertise and experience.

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 50 UTCs across the country, a number of which are in the Yorkshire and Humber area. These include:

  • UTC Sheffield, which opened in September 2013. Sponsored by Sheffield College, Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University, this school works with Boeing, Tata Steel and Kraft/Cadbury to specialise in engineering and creative and digital media for up to 600 students
  • Humber UTC in Scunthorpe, due to open in September this year. Sponsored by oil, steel and engineering firms, the school will specialise in renewable engineering for up to 600 students
  • Leeds UTC, due to open in September next year. Sponsored by Kodak, Siemens, Agfa Graphics and Unilever, the school will work in partnership with the University of Leeds to specialise in manufacturing and engineering for up to 600 students
  • Scarborough UTC, due to open in September next year. Sponsored by the University of Hull, the school will work with firms including McCains Food to specialise in engineering and design for up to 600 students
  • The Sheffield Human Science and Digital Technologies UTC, due to open in September next year. Working with Boeing, MLS Contracts and local teaching hospitals, the school will specialise in human science and digital technologies for up to 600 students

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Published 5 February 2015