New Survey Finds UTC Students Career Confident

Students who attend university technical colleges (UTCs) are confident about their career prospects, according to a national survey just published.

New figures show that almost nine out of ten students who attend UTCs (87%) feel confident in their ability to succeed in work. What’s more, 86% are confident of getting a job that suits their skills when they leave education.

The findings are from a Baker Dearing Educational Trust survey of 850 students aged 14 to 18 from UTCs across England in June 2015.

The survey results, published on July 24th, also reveal that two thirds of UTC students (68%) already know the career they want to pursue when they leave education: 40% plan to go to university and around a quarter (26%) plan to do an apprenticeship.

Facilities and equipment are the most important factor (95%) for students when they are considering a UTC followed by hands on learning (92%), opportunities for work experience (90%) and the technical specialism (89%).

UTC Sheffield, Matilda Street, is Yorkshire’s first UTC and opened in September 2013. It has more than 400 students and offers places in Year 10 for 14-year-olds and in Year 12 for 16-year-olds.

Students complete a technical qualification in either advanced engineering and manufacturing or creative and digital – two regional sectors where there are skills gaps – and academic qualifications such as GCSEs and A Levels. More than 40 employers support the curriculum.

Reacting to the survey findings, Nick Crew, Principal, UTC Sheffield, said: “The survey findings match our experience. Students are very positive about engaging with employers and the universities. This enables our students to develop high level skills and progress into careers and on to university, which we are now seeing as our first cohort completes their studies with us.”

In March this year, The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published findings from an international study about gender equality in schools.

The report identified that girls lack self-confidence in science and maths. However, data from the Baker Dearing sample suggests that girls at UTCs in Years 10 and 11 are more confident as far as science and maths are concerned than the average schoolgirl their age in the UK.

Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs, said: “These findings confirm that students who attend UTCs are gaining an education that gives them greater confidence in finding a job, one that suits their skills and pays well. Although it is still early days, UTCs are already playing an important role in helping to train and nurture a future workforce of highly skilled creatives, technicians, scientists and engineers.”

Andrew Turner, Creative Director, The Workshop, Sheffield, said: “The Workshop are proud supporters of UTC Sheffield. It’s important that we continue to recognise talented young people from South Yorkshire and help them find ways into the creative industries.”

Key facts

  •  UTC Sheffield has been led by The Sheffield College and its co-sponsors are Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce. More than 40 employers are supporting the curriculum. Places are still available for Year 10 starting in September.
  • Baker Dearing Educational Trust was founded by Lord Baker and Lord Dearing to promote the concept of UTCs, and sits at the centre of the UTC network promoting and supporting new and existing UTCs.
  • UTCs teach one or more technical specialisms that meet the skills shortages in the region. These include: creative and digital technologies, engineering, manufacturing, health sciences, product design and the built environment. Employers are heavily involved in the curriculum.
  • So far, 39 UTCs are open and there will be more than 55 open by 2017. Sheffield’s second UTC will open in the Olympic Legacy Park in 2016 and specialise in human sciences and computing.

Go to http://www.utc2sheffield.org.uk.

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