Bad weather and an earlier power cut across Salisbsury didn’t stop prospective students attending the South Wiltshire University Technical College (UTC) open evening last night.
Young people interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects flocked to the Wilton Road college with its state of the art facilities.
Fourteen year old Ciaran Robinson was there with his mum Kelly. “I am interested in engineering and maybe a career in the Royal Navy,” he said. “I like the fact that the work here is more practical and the strong links they have with the Navy.”
In his welcome speech to young people and their parents, Principal Joe Mulligan, explained that he wants students attending the UTC for the right reasons. “We want students who are passionate about what we offer. We are STEM focussed with fantastic engineering and science facilities and strong links with relevant employers.”
Phil Rawnson’s company, MRT Castings, has been involved with the UTC since it opened and regularly attend open events along with other employers. “The students here are bright and sparky,” he said. “They have chosen to be here.” The company is looking on taking apprentices in the future.
Rebecca Ledwidge from Andover was at the open evening with her parents and sister. The fourteen year old is interested in maths and science. “I’m thinking about coming here for sixth form,” she explained. “I think the UTC would be great for me as there are so many fantastic facilities.”
One student who made the decision to move to the UTC last September says it was the most positive decision of her life. Fourteen year old Katie Hopper travels to Salisbury from Southampton every day to study electronics and computer science. “I love it here, having the STEM subjects and being in a working environment.”
Katie shared her experiences with the prospective students and their families in a welcome speech. She told the audience she left her previous school as it didn’t offer engineering and she feels very supported at the UTC. “The UTC is giving me life skills.”