Government announces new technical colleges for pupils aged 14-19

The Government has today announced 7 new university technical colleges (UTCs) and 4 new studio schools to offer over 5,000 more specialist, technical education places for pupils aged 14-19. Together with currently open or approved to open UTCs and studio schools, this makes a total of over 50,000 places.

UTCs and studio schools are backed by over 40 major organisations including Jaguar Land Rover and Dyson. The schools’ curriculums are developed in partnership with local employers and universities, ensuring that the right skills are developed in the right places or sectors, particularly in engineering and science.

George Osborne said of the announcement:

University technical colleges are a key part of the government’s long term economic plan because they help to ensure young people have the right skills so they can maximise their potential. The new colleges will provide the next generation of British workers with the skills they need to secure the high-tech jobs of the future. This is an excellent example of how we are delivering a sustainable and resilient recovery by laying the foundations for a brighter economic future for the UK.


Schools Minister Lord Nash said:

Equipping young people with the skills they need to secure great jobs is a key part of this government’s long term economic plan. These new schools are such an important part of our education reform because they are particularly tailored for young people with an aptitude for more technical learning. It is right that technical education is on par with academic learning.

These schools will harness the talents of students, offering them hands-on learning alongside their GCSEs and A Levels, to provide them with the technical knowledge and skills that employers demand.

UTCs were first opened in 2010, and are intended to integrate academic and practical learning – they teach traditional academic qualifications alongside technical qualifications. Studio schools, which also first opened in 2010, are specifically designed to provide specialisms linked to local skills shortages and emphasise employable skills, with a curriculum focussed on core academic subjects plus tackling real life problems and projects.

The newly proposed UTCs are:

  • Bromley UTC: specialising in the health and wellbeing science sectors, led by Bromley College in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University and employers including the Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Nuffield Health, Mentoring and coaching will feature heavily.
  • Crewe UTC: specialising in engineering, manufacturing and design in an area where there is high regional demand, led by Bentley and OSL Rail in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and Cheshire East Council.
  • Leeds UTC: specialising in advanced manufacturing and engineering, the project is sponsored by Kodak, Siemens and Unilever, in partnership with the University of Leeds, and will incorporate vocational and academic subjects in a business-based environment.
  • Scarborough UTC: specialising in advanced engineering and design and control, sponsored by Unison Ltd, McCain Foods and Dale Power Solutions, along with the University of Hull.
  • Sheffield Human Science and Digital Technologies UTC: specialising in human science and digital technologies, this project is sponsored by Sheffield College and Sheffield Hallam University and employer partners including Boeing and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, with work-based learning and employer-led assignments.
  • South Durham UTC: specialising in engineering and advanced manufacturing, it will be the first UTC in the north-east. Sponsored by the University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail and Gestamp Tallent Ltd.
  • WMG Academy for Young Engineers, Coventry: specialising in engineering and science and led by the University of Warwick in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, EEF, and the Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

The newly proposed Studio Schools are:

  • The Studio @ DEYES, Liverpool: sponsored by the Lydiate Learning Trust, specialisms are professional and financial management; advanced manufacturing and logistics; and digital business. The school is supported by a range of employers including Radisson Blu, Merseytravel and Hill Dickinson.
  • Granger Studio School, Bristol: led by the Cabot Learning Foundation, specialisms are high tech industries, advanced engineering and creative and digital industries.
  • The Mendip Studio for Electronic Engineering and Bioscience: specialisms are electronic engineering and bioscience, and the school is sponsored by Writhlington School, a business and enterprise school with a strong international reputation. Employer partners include Dyson, Kew, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Intel.
  • Plymouth Studio School: specialising in lifestyle services, sport and the visitor economy, the project is led by City College Plymouth working in partnership with the University of St Mark and St John, Akkeron Group/Plymouth Argyle Football Club and Plymouth County Council.
Helen Robinson