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Engineers welcome new technical colleges

Engineers welcome new technical colleges

Institution of Engineering and Technology | Institution of Engineering and Technology

2 min read Partner content

The Institution of Engineering and Technology has welcomed the announcement that 15 new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are to be created.

Schools minister Lord Hill said the new UTCs will be created to train 20,000 young people as the engineers and scientists of the future.

Stephanie Fernandes from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said:"We hope that the expansion of UTCs will fill the hole created by the Government's decision to downgrade the value of the successful Engineering Diploma.

"UTCs will be at the heart of achieving improvements to the economy and supporting a pipeline of future apprentices, technicians and engineers. However, this expansion must be speeded up to ensure the pipeline doesn't dry up."

The 15 new colleges are in addition to 17 UTCs that are already working to open this September or next, exceeding the government’s ambition to create 24 by 2014.

Lord Hill said 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," he said.

"The response from employers to UTCs speaks for itself."

UTCs are Academies for 14 to 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.

Among the 15 new colleges announced yesterday are a UTC specialising in aviation engineering, located close to London Heathrow Airport, 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.

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