Doncaster celebrates city getting the green light for a second University Technical College (UTC)
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For context, UTCs are government-funded education providers that have strong links with the business community. The latter will collaborate extensively with faculties here: helping them to devise their curriculums; offering work experience placements; and generally inputting into the learning experience throughout.
As a result of this more proactive engagement with employers, the colleges tend to have much narrower specialisms than traditional secondary schools, and will focus on helping young people break into particular industries or careers.
A model example of this can already be found in Doncaster, with the existing UTC based over on College Road. Established back in 2020, this provider has been immensely popular with employers and students alike, receiving great acclaim and being oversubscribed twofold.
Hoping to build upon this proven success, Doncaster has been campaigning for another University Technical College and, today, has officially received the greenlight. A second UTC is now due to open in September 2025. While its predecessor had more of a focus on engineering, the curriculum at this newer college will be geared explicitly towards the Health & Wellbeing sector.
Responding to this welcome news, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “After a number of high-profile setbacks in recent months, this is a much-needed win for our city and an encouraging sign that we can turn things around.
“The original UTC has been a real asset for us. Indeed, helping to get that off the ground — by chairing its bid, drumming up political support, getting buy-in from the business community and even getting into the granularity of its design— is one of my proudest achievements as Chief Exec of the Chamber.
“It should go without saying then, that I am delighted to learn we are getting another one, building upon our previous success. I am confident that this new college will open up doors for Doncaster’s next generation of talent, especially those who are determined to pursue careers in health and wellbeing.
“There is always high demand for talent in these areas and anyone who decides to hone the relevant skills will undoubtedly have bright futures ahead of them. Young people who enrol at this second UTC will therefore be in a very strong position when it comes to entering the workforce later in life.
“In terms of employment partners, the college — and by extension its students — will be working closely with the NHS and other big players in the health sector.
“These are certainly promising foundations to begin with but, in order for the new UTC to be every bit as successful as its forbear, we need the voice of business to be at its heart. That’s why I’d like to encourage any other employers who are invested in fostering the next generation of talent to similarly reach out and see what role they can play in the college’s future.
“Once again, I’d like to welcome this much-needed positive news for Doncaster and to congratulate everyone involved for making it happen, especially those at the Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Multi-Academy Trust, who have done so much to diversify Doncaster’s education offer and embed work readiness in what they do. If today’s news is anything to go by, it seems that our city is getting back to its winning ways. And long may it continue.”
The second Doncaster UTC is scheduled to open its doors in 2025.