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‘Expansion of UTCs is a step in the right direction’

The Institution of Engineering and Technology has welcomed the announcement that 15 new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) will be created to train 20,000 young people as the engineers and scientists of the future.

The UK needs more engineers and technicians to meet the skills needs of industry. And this need can only be met by providing a range of entry routes; both vocational and academic.

Stephanie Fernandes from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “We hope that the expansion of UTCs will fill the hole created by the Government’s decision to downgrade the value of the successful Engineering Diploma. UTCs will be at the heart of achieving improvements to the economy and supporting a pipeline of future apprentices, technicians and engineers. However, this expansion must be speeded up to ensure the pipeline doesn’t dry up.”

The new UTCs will have involvement from around 200 high-profile employers, including household names like Jaguar Land Rover, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. They will also have significant input from universities such as Cambridge and Warwick.

The IET has taken a key role in leading the engineering profession’s support for UTCs and the initiative was launched at the IET in February 2010.

UTCs will create opportunities for more than 20,000 young people to train as the engineers and scientists of the future, playing a crucial role in the UK’s long-term economic growth. They will offer hands-on technical learning alongside academic GCSEs and A-levels.

The combination of a strong technical and academic education ensures that students are ready for work or further study at college or university.

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