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UTC Students More Job Confident

Students at university technical colleges (UTCs) are more confident of getting a job (88%) when they finish education than those at other mainstream schools (75%).

Those are the national findings of two surveys of 14-18 year old students from both UTCs and other schools, published today by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

Today’s surveys show students at UTCs are more confident of being ‘job ready’ when they do enter the workplace: 88% of UTC students said they felt confident of being job ready compared to 67% of students at other mainstream schools.

More than twice as many UTC students feel they have gained business know-how compared to their mainstream school counterparts.

The survey also shows that almost 70% of students at UTCs believe they have gained valuable practical skills compared to less than half of students from other schools.

UTCs teach one or more technical specialisms that meet regional skills shortages. These include engineering, manufacturing, health sciences, product design, digital technologies, and the built environment.

Nationally, 17 UTCs are open, 33 are approved and there will be 50 open by 2015. When fully operational there will be places for more than 30,000 students nationally.

UTC Sheffield, on Matilda Street, is the first UTC to launch in Yorkshire and the Humber, and its students took part in the survey.

The facility, which opened in September 2013, delivers mainstream academic qualifications including GCSEs and A levels in addition to technical courses in advanced engineering and creative and digital media.

Nick Crew, Principal, said: “We are reassured to see students at UTC Sheffield feel confident about getting a job and the skills they are learning at UTCs are relevant.”

He added: “From this survey we now also know that our students value the specialist equipment and links to business and employers we offer. An education at a UTC is designed to open up opportunities for 14-18 year olds. We want all our students to enjoy a fulfilling career that matches their talents and interests.”

The findings in Yorkshire reflect the national trend with 100% of UTC students feeling confident of getting a job when they leave education, compared to 71% of students at mainstream schools. Furthermore, 100% of UTC students are confident of getting a job that suits their skill set compared to 76% of students at mainstream schools.

Lord Baker, Chair of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs, said: “It is essential that young people have a good understanding of business and are well prepared to join the world of work. These surveys highlight that students at UTCs gain an education that gives them greater confidence and skills that employers value.

“Developing and nurturing an ambitious future workforce will directly contribute to the success of our economy. UTCs are playing an important role in helping to train the next generation of highly skilled technicians, scientists and engineers.”

Philip Greenish CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, added: “The UK needs many more people with skills in innovation, creativity and enterprise – skills that are fundamental to engineering and key to the UK’s competitive edge. University technical colleges are superbly positioned to reach out to young people from all backgrounds, male and female, and to bring to life the wonderful opportunities available from a career in engineering.”

Opinion Matters and Survey Monkey carried out the research for The Baker Dearing Educational Trust in April 2014. A sample of 1691, 14-18 year old students were surveyed across both UTCs and other state schools. The Baker Dearing Educational Trust was founded by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing to promote the concept of UTCs.

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