Baker Dearing, in my opinion, has been the reason that the UTC model/movement is gaining in strength and has succeeded where other similar initiatives have fallen. Being part of a larger group and able to learn from each other, positioning UTCs to make such a difference to students who have a passion for STEM, and working with employers in an innovative and profound manner, are all truly transformational.
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.