University Technical College (UTC)

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) supports the delivery of the North East Futures University Technical College (UTC) to help address the Information Technology (IT) and healthcare sciences skills gap within the North East region.

The AHSN NENC has invested £50,000 to support the UTC as well assisting with the application process alongside the Lead Sponsor Accenture and other Partners including Sunderland University, Newcastle City Council and The North East Local Enterprise Partnership. The North East Futures UTC is a pioneering, employer-driven learning institution which aims to put the North East at the centre of the UK’s science and technology industry. It was given the go-ahead by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in February 2015 (Link to press release), and it is expected to open in September 2017.

The North East Futures UTC will cater for students aged 14-18 specialising in IT and healthcare sciences. Its curriculum will help young people develop the right skills for “careers of the future,” whilst complementing and supplementing the existing education and skills provision in the North East.

North East Futures UTC will play a key role in ensuring that there are enough young people with the right skills available to join both the IT and healthcare sciences sectors.

For healthcare sciences, North East Futures UTC also has support from a number of healthcare organisations and local SMEs. These include The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, and specialist SMEs such as Kromek and PolyPhotonix.

The employers backing this initiative will make major, practical commitments to the UTC, including significant input into curriculum development, the provision of one-to-one mentors, the setting of business projects for students, the provision of high-quality work placements, and the guaranteeing of job interviews with sponsor companies.

In addition to the £50,000 invested into the North East Futures UTC by the AHSN NENC a further £50,000 has been leveraged from a local charity, The Sir James Knott Trust.

Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: “The UTC movement is gaining momentum and I am delighted to see that more young people in the North East will be able to benefit from a UTC education. More than 600 employers, both large and small, back UTCs because they can see they make sense.”

Sir Leonard Fenwick, CBE, Chief Executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is a significant boost for the North East and provides a great opportunity for young people to be directly involved in proactive programmes aimed at underpinning their personal development, skills, knowledge and confidence to then progress through to quality employment and all this entails.”