South Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC) opened its doors to prospective students last night.
More than 150 people attended the event where they met the new Principal, employers linked to the UTC, and had a tour of the facilities.
In his welcome speech to students and their parents, Principal Joe Mulligan said,” I often describe a UTC as being a big school, they sit somewhere between school and a college, and offer a calmer and more grown-up environment. With our fantastic facilities, specialist equipment, experienced teaching staff, and links with employers, we are inspiring the scientists and engineers of the future.”
Local company, QinetiQ, based at Boscombe Down, has had strong links with the South Wiltshire UTC from the start. They offer work experience and apprenticeships to students.
“The young people who come out of this UTC are first rate,” said Doug Gale, Director Strategic Engagement (Air).
Employers who attended the event last night were DSTL, Roke, Chemring Technology Solutions, Army, the Royal Navy, MGC, Porton Biopharma, Public Health England and others, such as Twinnings, based in Andover, are looking to take on apprentices from the UTC. The event was also supported by the UTCs education partners, Wiltshire College and the University of Southhampton.
Dr Jane Shallcross from Public Health England said,” We come to support the UTC and help students who are thinking about the UTC and about their long term career prospects and planning.”
Aidan Tout, Project Manager for Roke said, “We are really excited about our link with the UTC and we are very pleased to be part of this open event.”
Principal, Joe Mulligan, emphasised that the support they get from the employers is fantastic. “They can’t do enough for us,” he said. “They support us in the curriculum, industry projects, employability skills and mock interviews, as well as offering our students work experience and apprenticeships.”
Meeting the employers was a highlight for 16 year old Anna Stainer who went along to the open evening. She is interested in studying engineering and mechanics. Itti Khanchanakub, who is 13 years old, said he was there to find out about studying computers and engineering.
“We definitely offer a unique alternative to other education providers in the region. Progression into specialist areas from UTCs is excellent, whether directly into employment or continuing education at either college or university,” said Principal, Joe Mulligan.