David Lidington MP Meets New UTC Students

David Lidington MP for Aylesbury, toured the new £10m Bucks UTC on Friday and met some of the students who will be starting in this new facility when it opens on Monday 16 September.

David was shown round the fantastic new building by Bucks UTC Principal, Bev Flanagan, and also spoke to Maria Pilfold, Group HR Director for Taylor Wimpey, one of the UTC’s employer partners.

David Lidington MP commented: “This is great news for Buckinghamshire, a fantastic new educational facility that specialises in Construction and Computing/IT. The new UTC offers a bright future for young people in the County who are interested in a career in these sectors and gives them a chance to work alongside some of the UK’s leading employers. The new students I met were full of enthusiasm and clearly can’t wait to start!”

Bucks is one of 12 new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) which will open across the country this month. This will bring the number of UTCs in operation to 17, with a total of 44 due to be open by 2015.

  • UTCs train the technicians and engineers needed by British industry
  • 17 UTCs open already with 2,300 students rising to: 10,000 when fully recruited
  • 44 to be opened by 2015 will increase this to: 26,000 when fully recruited
  • Applications in the pipeline will increase this to over: 40,000 when fully recruited
  • Most UTCs are in areas of high youth unemployment
  • UTCs aim for no leavers at 16 or 18 to join the unemployed – this has been met so far
  • UTCs are the only schools to prepare students for advanced apprenticeships at 16 and higher apprenticeships at 18
  • UTCs are employer-led supported by over 400 companies
  • UTCs are sponsored by 44 universities

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust (BDT) has been working to establish a national network of UTCs for the past five years. Lord Kenneth Baker, Chairman of BDT, says:

“I am delighted to see a further 12 UTCs opening this month. These innovative schools produce highly skilled young people who are desperately needed to further the economic growth of our country.

The UTC movement is expanding rapidly. Of all the new schools opening in England only UTCs specifically aim to fill the skills gap of our economy. Many more are needed.”

HRH the Duke of York, the Patron of BDT, who visited Bucks UTC earlier this year adds:

“UTCs are an excellent example of innovative education and there is no doubt that they will provide many young people with the necessary skills and technical knowledge to become economically active. I send my best wishes to all the students and staff at each of the 12 new UTCs opening this month. I look forward to continuing to visit UTCs around the country and meeting many of their students over the next year.”