Sheffield Central MP Backs Think UTC Day

21 March 2016

Sheffield Central MP Backs Think UTC Day

UTC Sheffield is backing an annual campaign to highlight the benefits of technical learning and partnerships with employers.

Think UTC is a new national day for University Technical Colleges (UTCs) that celebrates the work they do to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

More than 30 UTCs across the country held workshops, open days and talks involving local MPs, businesses and schools on Friday, March 18th. Think UTC also coincided with British Science Week and National Apprenticeship Week.

To mark the day, Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield spoke at UTC Sheffield City Centre campus on Matilda Street about the importance of STEM subjects, and also held a question and answer session with students during their assemblies.

Mr Blomfield said: “We must encourage more young people to study STEM subjects to develop the skills that we need to rebalance our economy. UTC Sheffield leads the way with top quality education in the advanced engineering, manufacturing, creative and digital sectors, alongside the mainstream school curriculum. It provides young people with a brilliant start in life and every time that I visit I’m struck by their enthusiasm for learning.”

Paul takes questions from students

Paul takes questions from students

UTC Sheffield City Centre campus, which is Yorkshire’s first UTC, opened in September 2013 and specialises in two sectors for growth – advanced engineering and manufacturing, and creative and digital.

Ofsted has just graded the UTC as good. Students develop good industry skills on highly effective study programmes that increase their chances of securing employment, university places and apprenticeships in the region, according to the education watchdog’s report published earlier this month.

A second UTC is also launching in the city later this year. The UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park campus will specialise in healthcare and sports sciences, and computing, and is due to open in September 2016. Some places are still available. Visit

The £10 million facility is currently being built on the Olympic Legacy Park (OLP). Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield are closely involved in the development of the curriculum, together with major employers including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Nick Crew, Executive Principal, UTC Sheffield, said: “The UTC approach to teaching and learning enables our students to develop the high level technical skills that will help them thrive in a challenging economy and fast-paced world. Employers underpin the curriculum, which gives students a head start on their employment and career prospects.”

Student Cameron Barber, 15, said: “There was a question and answer session during assembly. I wanted to ask a question so when my name was called I said: ‘What is the importance of science?’ I thought I might be a bit nervous but it was fine and Paul gave a good answer about all the new jobs in science and technology. He was very friendly and spoke to me afterwards – he said it was a really good question!”

Lord Baker, Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the organisation that supports UTCs, said: “I am delighted to see so many UTCs are getting involved in this national day. The University Technical College programme aims to put technical skills back at the heart of our educational system and highlight the importance and versatility of science, technology, engineering and maths in industry.

He added: “Think UTC is a brilliant way of raising awareness amongst young people about the advantages of studying STEM subjects at school, and the range of high profile technical careers that skills in these subjects can lead to.”