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University Technical Colleges report another year of strong recruitment

The number of students on roll at UTCs across the country has increased by 10% this September compared with last year. Today, just over 17,500 young people have chosen this increasingly relevant careers-focused education at the 48 UTCs in England. This improvement follows a strong rise last year in students on roll across the UTC programme of 12%.

Energy Coast UTC in Cumbria, which is rated Outstanding by Ofsted, reported a 17% increase in their student numbers from last year. Principal Cherry Tingle said,

“We are delighted to see the continuing trend of a large increase in the number of students applying for, and being successful in obtaining a place at, our outstanding UTC this year. We are now heavily oversubscribed in year 10 and almost full in year 12.”

“Our curriculum, which focuses on high academic standards, alongside technical skills based subjects such as civil and digital engineering, also sees students working on real life projects directly with employers. This has never been more relevant than it is today. In addition to this, our focus on explicit teaching of employability skills has also seen all our students leave us to take up fantastic destinations as apprentices or at university. UTCs are now instrumental in providing the skilled employees this country now needs to take us forward.”

The 10% programme rise was higher than forecast and came mainly from a strong increase in the recruitment of students aged fourteen into Key Stage 4.

The increase in student numbers comes as no surprise to Tom Dower, Principal at UTC South Durham, who attributes this to the growing reputation of the UTC programme as well as recognition of the value of a skills-focused education in a post-pandemic and post-Brexit world.

“I’m delighted that so many young people have chosen to join our UTC, and those across the country, this year. But I’m not surprised. UTCs offer a very different type of education compared to most schools; a longer working week, technical learning and a focus on ensuring that young people are career ready. After the severe disruption of the last 18 months, many families recognise that a UTC-style education is exactly what their child needs to get ahead. At the same time employers are looking for well-prepared young people to meet post-Brexit business opportunities. Our boost in recruitment has been because of the reputation that we have built over the last five years for quality of education, skills development, and caring for our students.”