Kenneth Baker is a former MP and Cabinet Minister. He was the first Information Technology Minister, introducing computers into schools. As Education Secretary, he introduced the National Curriculum, testing, City Technology Colleges, and grant-maintained schools, as well as freeing polytechnics to become universities. Together with Lord Dearing, he founded the Baker Dearing Educational Trust in 2009.
Andrew Adonis is a British Labour Party politician and author. He served as Secretary of State for Transport. More recently, he was founding Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, pioneering HS2 and Crossrail. During his time as Minister for Schools, he launched Teach First and the London Challenge, and was an early advocate for the introduction of the UTC programme.
Mike Tomlinson was Chief Inspector and Head of Ofsted between 2000 and 2002. He was Chair of the Working Group set up by government to propose reform of the curriculum for 14-19 year-olds. He acted as Chief Adviser for London Challenge from 2008 to 2010. In 2014, he was appointed Education Commissioner for Birmingham to oversee reform.
David Land is a well-known figure in the manufacturing and automotive sectors in the North East of England. He has spent his entire career in these sectors, starting out as an apprentice. Today, he allocates his time between managing businesses and supporting local organisations. He is Chair of Governors at UTC South Durham.
Mike Wright is a former Executive Director of Jaguar Land Rover, retiring in 2016 after making a significant contribution to doubling JLR’s scale since 2008. He acts as an advisor to FTSE- and North American-listed businesses, sports, arts and government-related organisations. Mike is Chair of Governors of WMG Academies, which has two UTCs near Birmingham.
Clive Barker has enjoyed a successful career as a businessman and entrepreneur. He is Chairman of CSB Logistics, a company he founded over 30 years ago. He is an active participant in the business community in South East London, having twice served as President of the region’s Chamber of Commerce. Clive is Chair of The Leigh UTC in Dartford.
Madeleine Hallward is a public affairs and communications expert, having worked in-house for Diageo and Bloomberg. Most recently, she was a Director on Ford’s UK Board of Directors, leading on government affairs. She has a long association with the UTC programme, particularly through Ford’s support for Elutec, which is based in Dagenham.
From 2009 until 2020, Jim Wade was Principal of the JCB Academy, the first UTC, in Staffordshire. During his time at the JCB Academy, the UTC was consistently judged ‘Good’ by Ofsted, and developed the model of employer engagement which has been adopted across the UTC programme. In doing so, the JCB Academy equipped thousands of young people with the skills essential for the world of work. Prior to joining The JCB Academy, Jim was Principal of South Molton Community College which was judged ‘Outstanding’ under his leadership.
Will Harding has spent his career in the media industry, working at the BBC, Sky and, most recently, at Global Media & Entertainment, the UK’s largest commercial radio operator and leading outdoor advertising company, where he was Chief Strategy Officer and a group Board Director. He set up the Global Academy UTC and served as its first Chair of Governors.
I worked in manufacturing before becoming a MP, and I know how important it is to have the right skills. When you talk to UTC students, you get a true sense of the passion and enthusiasm they have for the skills they are learning here. It is truly inspiring, and we need to be doing more of this.
University Technical Colleges impress me because they are not just training the next generation of STEM professionals and developing a much-needed skills pipeline to the careers of the future, they are also offering their students the opportunity to make the important connection between what they learn in the classroom and how it relates to the real world.
Given the importance of science and engineering to our economy, and the potential skills shortage in these areas, the idea of a school like this is obvious and yet it takes someone to actually do it. That is the genius of the place, that someone has got the concept up-and-running and that they are delivering the curriculum in partnership with organisations such as the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
Over half of the roles in the Royal Navy are engineering. That’s why it’s great that UTCs provide an exciting environment for students to learn all aspects of engineering. We are privileged to be supporting young engineers. We need to encourage this area of expertise. If we do not get this right, we sink and we are not protecting the country. Engineering is our future and young people are our future.