With elections and Brexit looming, concerns over job prospects have led to a record number of applications this term to Britain’s 48 UTCs. England’s first employer-led schools today announce that Year 10 applications are running at more than double the rate of last year during March to May (500 to over 1000) and are launching a new round of Open Days this June for parents wanting to move their 14 year olds this September.
Research commissioned by UTCs reveals that 8 out of 10 (80%) parents believe that the current education system needs to change with a further two thirds fearing their child will not find a job when they leave education. Nearly two thirds (64%) said they want a greater variety of choice in the type of school for their child and 7 in 10 parents (69%) said they would like the option to select a technical education if it reflects their child’s talents.
Microsoft, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce and Fujitsu are amongst the 500 businesses backing UTCs. With core GCSE subjects (Maths, English and Science) offered alongside specialist technical qualifications, it appears AI, robotics, design and engineering hit top marks for 14 year olds and parents.
And it seems this approach is giving students a clear competitive advantage. University intake from UTCs in 2016 reached 44% compared to 38.1% national average whilst 29% of graduates started apprenticeships compared with 8.4% nationally.
Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs says:
These findings highlight the importance parents place on their children’s education and whether it gives them the qualifications and experience they need to secure a job. UTCs are playing an important role to ensure children get the education they need for the 21st century workplace. This is valued a great deal by parents and I’m delighted that so many are considering a UTC education for their children.