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HRH The Duke Of York visits UTC@MediaCityUK for talent and skills showcase

Prince Andrew - Dan Sodergren

HRH The Duke of York visited Salford on 17 March to meet with talented students from MediaCityUK’s University Technical College as part of #ThinkUTC day. HRH Prince Andrew was the guest of honour at UTC@MediaCityUK’s Talent and Skills Day, which gave its students from across Manchester the opportunity to show the digital community of the North West that there is no shortage of talent to feed in to the technology sector. Not only did they showcase their work but their work became showcased – as they were the ones allowed to film and photograph His Royal Highness for the occasion.

The UTC@MediaCityUK pupils study a mixture of academic GCSEs, A-levels and technical qualifications as well as getting hands-on, practical experience in specialist pathways such as TV & film, graphics & design, radio & audio, and interactive media & gaming. Prince Andrew met students studying in each of the UTC’s pathways during his tour of the state of the art facilities at the college.

He was joined by local dignitaries including the High Sheriff (Lady Joy Smith), The Worshipful Mayor of Salford (Councillor Karen Garrido) and The City Mayor of Salford (Paul Dennett.) The guests also had a chance to meet employer partners from the creative and digital communities who closely support the teaching of each of the pathways at the UTC, including small tech start-up RooCru , the BBC and ITV.

The Duke met the UTC’s sponsors the University of Salford, the Lowry and Aldridge Education, and Charles Parker from the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity that sustains and promotes UTCs. He saw UTC students showcasing their live briefs and show reels as he toured the campus. Matt Tiplady, a year 13 student said:

It was great opportunity for us to showcase our work to our partners and also employers in the Manchester digital community through the attention HRH the Duke of York’s visit has received.

James Medd of the local business hub The Landing said:

Working with these young people has been a joy, their enthusiasm for the different work we have done with them has been infectious. They are a credit to their teachers and college. We were very proud to be able to present our work with them to His Royal Highness.

Beki Martin CEO of Aldridge Foundation introduced the Prince to two student businesses and one community project which use the UTC’s Enterprise Hub facilities. His Royal Highness concluded the tour by giving a talk as part of #ThinkUTC day, which was filmed by the students to share with other UTCs nationally.

HRH Prince Andrew said:

This UTC is like no other I have visited. The skills you are delivering to students are preparing them to such an advanced level that they may not go to university, but straight into employment.

The success of this UTC is due to you having chosen this college where you feel you can make decisions about your learning. Here you do not feel like your ideas are met with a no.

Principal Sharon Gardner said:

In our second year, it is fantastic to celebrate the talent and skills being developed here with our students. Visitors, partners and sponsors have all been impressed by the level of technical skill, maturity and creativity at work. Testament to this is that we have Year 13 students with offers from prestigious university departments, including an offer from Oxford University.

A signed #ThinkUTC lightbulb by HRH The Duke of York.

For more information on UTC@MediaCityUK, please visit:

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