UTC Sheffield Opens to Students
Pictured: Nick Crew, UTC Sheffield Principal, with students Praise Ncube, 14, and Josh Mitchell,14, and two of the creative and digital industry employers supporting the curriculum: Emma Cooper from Team Cooper, and Chris Dymond.
Yorkshire and Humber’s first university technical college has opened its doors to students this week.
“I am delighted at now being in the UTC Sheffield building with the full staff team and our students.”
Principal, Nick Crew
University Technical College (UTC) Sheffield, built by Wates Construction, has been handed over in time to welcome 240 new students for the start of the academic year beginning Monday September 9th.
The £9.9 million three-storey facility, on Shoreham Street, Sheffield city centre, is one of 12 new university technical colleges opening nationally this month.
In Sheffield City Region – the catchment area for UTC Sheffield – there is a shortage of skilled workers for the advanced engineering and manufacturing and the creative and digital industries, which are areas for growth regionally and nationally.
UTC Sheffield specialises in training 14 to 19-year-olds in the technical skills that employers need for the creative and digital industries, and the advanced engineering and manufacturing sectors.
Students complete a technical qualification in one of those subjects as well as traditional academic qualifications including GCSEs and A Levels. This year’s first intake comprises 138 Year 12, and 102 Year 10 students. Next year the number of student places will increase to 600 overall.
Nick Crew, Principal, UTC Sheffield, said: “I am delighted at now being in the UTC Sheffield building with the full staff team and our students. The building, resources and curriculum planning are extremely impressive and will help to have a real impact on the future region’s young people and economic growth in our two focus areas.”
Richard Scarrott, Operations Director, Wates Construction, said: “Having been involved with so many of the region’s education facilities it has been a real privilege for Wates to build Yorkshire’s very first UTC. I’d like to thank our hard working site team whose commitment has enabled us to complete this important project in time for the start of the new academic year. I’m delighted to hand over this fantastic facility to its new owners and wish its first students every success with this innovative style of work-based learning.”
Student Praise Ncube, 14, who is studying advanced engineering and manufacturing, wants to go into a career in prosthetics, which involves designing and manufacturing artificial limbs. She said: “It’s a unique form of education at the UTC Sheffield, and I chose to study here to learn more about working life, and better my prospects.”
Student Louis Hunter, 14, who is studying advanced engineering and manufacturing, said: “I’m really keen to gain job skills and links with employers. That’s why I chose the UTC Sheffield. In the longer term, I want to go into an engineering apprenticeship before setting up my own business.”
Student Hannah Marrett, 15, who is studying creative and digital media, said: “I chose the UTC Sheffield because of the opportunities to develop creative and digital, and job related skills.”
The UTC Sheffield is fitted with £1 million of specialist equipment including engineering mini factories, Arduino and Raspberry Pi workshops for creating and testing technology and advanced Apple Mac design suites with the latest hardware.
It also has high tech studios for digital and creative media projects including music and sound technology, film, animation and photography, and a rooftop sports pitch to maximise space at its city centre location. The facility includes the refurbishment of the former Victorian Sydney Works building, formerly a silversmiths, and which will now house part of the creative and digital department.
More than 40 employers from both the advanced engineering and manufacturing, and the creative and digital media industries sectors, are backing UTC Sheffield in a range of ways. This includes providing sponsorship and work placements, and shaping the curriculum and its content by setting industry based projects.
Key supporters include Siemens, Newburgh Engineering, Rolls Royce, Sheffield Forgemasters, Tata Steel, the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing, Performance Engineered Solutions, Team Cooper Games, Warp Films, Edumake technology, Resolve IT and Visionmix, and many more.
The UTC Sheffield is run by the UTC Sheffield Academy Trust. The UTC has been sponsored and led by The Sheffield College with Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry as co-sponsors.
Sheffield City Council initiated the application, and is providing the land on a 125-year lease at a peppercorn rent. The UTC Sheffield has been funded by the Department for Education, and designed by HLM Architects. Planning permission was granted in August 2012. Construction began on the site in September 2012.
The Baker Dearing Educational Trust has been working to establish a national network of UTCs for the last five years. Twelve new UTCs are opening nationally this month There are now a total of 17 UTCs across the country in total, and this number is set to increase to 44 by 2015.
Lord Kenneth Baker, Chairman, commented: “I am delighted to see the opening of UTC Sheffield and a further eleven UTCs around the country. These innovative schools produce highly skilled young people who are desperately needed to further the economic growth of our country. The UTC movement is expanding rapidly. Of all the new schools opening in England only UTCs specifically aim to fill the skills gap of our economy. Many more are needed.”
What People Are Saying About UTC Sheffield
Andrew Cropley, Executive Director for Strategic Planning and Business Development, The Sheffield College, and Chair of the UTC Sheffield Academy Trust, said: “This is a proud day for The Sheffield College. Leading the UTC project to a successful opening is a tangible example of our commitment to meeting the region’s skills needs and providing young people with outstanding, career focused educational opportunities. I’d like to thank the many people and organisations that have supported us in delivering this project including employers, universities, representative bodies and schools. I’d like to congratulate Nick Crew and his team for the excellent work they’ve done in getting everything ready and I’d like to wish all the students well in their new educational adventure – they have a remarkable opportunity and I look forward very much to tracking their progression.”
Jon Stewart is Metals Technologies Director of Siemens Plc and President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Siemens Plc, whose Metals Technologies division is based at Sheffield Business Park, is one of the world’s leading engineering and manufacturing companies. The company has committed to providing financial sponsorship, industry projects, training and equipment for students. He said:“Siemens are delighted to support the UTC in Sheffield and are committed to ensuring that the college delivers the necessary talent and skills that both the UK and our local regional manufacturing and industry needs. We are pleased to have an integral role in its future development and are heartened by the growing relationship between business and education.”
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Sheffield City Council, said: “This is a great moment for Sheffield and the City Region. When I meet employers they tell me they need young people to work for them with advanced skill levels, enthusiasm and who are ready for work. The UTC Sheffield is a great new asset giving young people across the region an opportunity to learn a range of academic and vocational skills, providing experiences in advanced engineering and manufacturing and the digital and creative sectors and all in a cutting edge building with fantastic resources. The UTC will boost jobs and the local economy and help our young people achieve their full potential. I’d encourage all the new students to seize this wonderful opportunity and make the most of their time at the UTC.”
Martin Howarth, Head of Engineering and Maths, Sheffield Hallam University, said:“The UTC is an excellent facility for students in engineering, and creative and media subjects to progress into higher education and to develop their careers. There’s great synergy between the University and the UTC and we look forward to working together.”
Paul Blomfield, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central, said: “I’m really excited by the opening of the UTC in the heart of my constituency. From digging the foundations to opening in one year is no mean feat! I congratulate everyone involved but the really important part starts now. The UTC will give our young people the skills they need to succeed in advanced manufacturing, and creative and digital industries and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”