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UTC Sheffield To Plug Skills Gap

“This underlines the importance of new opportunities at 14+, led and supported by employers.  University Technical Colleges are leading the way by offering high-quality science, engineering and technical education alongside core subjects such as English and maths.”

Lord Baker, Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has issued the latest Employer Skills Survey, on January 30th 2014, which claims that although job vacancies are returning to pre-recession levels, many employers are still finding it hard to recruit people with the right skills.  

University technical colleges are technical academies for 14 to 19 year-olds, funded by the Department for Education, which offer a combination of academic and technical qualifications that match regional employers’ skills needs and boost young people’s career prospects. They have been developed to fill the skills gaps by training young people in the skills industry demands. 

The UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey interviewed over 90,000 employers between March and July 2013. They reported a total of 559,600 job vacancies in England – up 45% per cent from 2009. However, skills shortage vacancies nearly doubled over the same period, increasing from 63,100 to 124,800.  

Overall, skills shortage vacancies – which occur when employers cannot find people with the right skills and qualifications to do the job – now account for more than one in five of all vacancies (22%) up from one in six (16%) in 2009. 

Commenting on the findings, UTC Sheffield Principal Nick Crew said: “The CES Employer Skills Survey finding that there is an urgent need to provide students with both strong academic qualifications and relevant technical skills to make them work ready is no surprise to the South Yorkshire region. The strong employer and university backing at UTC Sheffield is providing a very high quality technical education for our students.”

He added: “With more than 40 national and regional employers, along with our two universities, supporting and leading projects in our specialist technical areas of engineering and creative digital media, our students are learning about the key aspects of industry and commerce skills to prepare them for the workplace. These students will help to support our region’s future growth within two sectors that are vital to the economy.”

UTC Sheffield has been sponsored and led by The Sheffield College with Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce as co-sponsors. More than 40 employers are backing UTC Sheffield in a range of ways. This includes providing guaranteed recruitment interviews, sponsorship and work placements, and shaping the curriculum and its content by setting industry based projects. 

Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: “The UK CES Employer Skills Survey confirms that organisations find it hard to recruit the skilled people they need. It also claims skills shortages are getting worse and may be holding back the UK’s economic recovery. Such deficiencies have persisted over time in some sectors and occupations making the need for home grown talent greater than ever.”

He added: “This underlines the importance of new opportunities at 14+, led and supported by employers.  University Technical Colleges are leading the way by offering high-quality science, engineering and technical education alongside core subjects such as English and maths. The 50, when fully operational, will take around 30,000 students, 17 are currently open.”

UTC Sheffield is recruiting now for Year 10 and Year 12 places beginning in September 2014. Open evenings are being held at UTC Sheffield, Matilda Street, on Tuesday March 11th 6pm to 8pm and March 25th from 6pm to 7pm. 

 

ENDS

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