Some of the first prospective students of the Derby Manufacturing University Technical College (UTC) took part in a groundbreaking ceremony which marked the start of building work on the new campus in Pride Park.
Matthew Bell (15), Connor Richardson (15) and Meena Khetani (13) joined UTC Principal Designate Philip Morris to cut the first sod on the site in Locomotive Way to mark the occasion. Contractors BAM Construct UK will build the £8 million centre which has been designed by Maber Architects.
The UTC will then open in September 2015 for the first intake of students in years 10 and 12 – providing young people with the skills needed in engineering and manufacturing, including the rail industry.
The UTC will have capacity for up to 600 young people aged 14 to 19. They will study core GCSE’s, A levels and engineering qualifications enhanced by project based learning, work placements, employer site visits and industry expert lectures.
Derby Manufacturing UTC is a partnership between Derby College, the University of Derby, Rolls-Royce Plc, Bombardier, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, Derby City Council and a wide range of supply chain employers working in local manufacturing and engineering – many of whom attended the ceremony.
Mr Morris said: “The ground breaking is an important milestone for the Derby Manufacturing UTC and marks the 12 month countdown to the launch of this exciting new education facility in September 2015.
“We expect the applications to start increasing over the coming months as young people currently in years nine and 11 start to think about their options for next September.”
Meena Khatani from Sinfin is currently a pupil at the City of Derby Academy. She said: “I have always been more interested in practical skills and coming to the UTC in year 10 will enable me to do my GCSE alongside engineering projects.”
Her dad Rashmi added that the UTC would give students opportunities they might not have had otherwise and said that Meena’s younger sister Naina (12) was hoping to follow in her footsteps and enrol for the UTC the following year.
“Engineering is a complex area but this will open so many more doors to the students and hopefully give them the edge when they are looking for jobs.
BAM Director Rod Styles continued: “Prospective students will be invited onto the site at regular intervals during the construction to start giving them an insight into the engineering processes involved in such a project.”
And Councillor Martin Raw, deputy leader of Derby City Council and cabinet member for planning, environment and regeneration concluded: “This is a unique project in the city and I hope that it will pave the way for closer collaboration between education and businesses in the future.”
Derby Manufacturing UTC is one of 50 new UTCs being developed across the country which are being developed to fill the skills gap in industry by training young engineers who have the talent and skills that employers need now and in the future.
Employers at a wide range of local businesses, including Rolls-Royce plc and Toyota UK, have been heavily involved in setting up Derby Manufacturing UTC and will continue to work alongside the organisation to provide work experience opportunities and projects for the learners.
Work placement opportunities will be core elements of the work programmes where learners will be able to put into practice the skills they have learnt in the classroom into work activity, supported by mentors from local companies.
Contractors BAM Construction, which has offices in Derby, has a long history of working in the East Midlands. The company has been awarded the construction contracts for 16 of the UTCs reflecting their proven ability to deliver these specialist buildings.
It also has carried out a major redevelopment of East Midlands Airport as well as building Derby Council’s new civic offices. The contractor is working on the £10.5 million Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology and recently completed the highly sustainable 202-bed Orchard Hotel for the University of Nottingham.
For more information about how to apply and forthcoming events, please visit the website http://www.derbymanufacturingutc.co.uk/ ; like the facebook page http://www.derbymanufacturingutc.co.uk/ and follow on twitter https://twitter.com/UTCDerby