Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change Visits Warrington’s New University Technical College

The University Technical College Warrington (UTCW) received a visit today from Andrea Leadsom MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change.

The purpose of the Minister’s visit was to view Warrington’s new cutting edge educational institution and find out how, when it opens its doors in September 2016, the college will specialise in Energy and Engineering to support the training of future engineers that will help fill the UK’s skills requirements.

During her visit Andrea Leadsom MP met with some of the UTCW’s employment partners, including representatives from Sellafield Ltd, Tenet Consultants, Warrington & Co. and construction partner ISG, where she discussed the benefits and opportunities that UTCs can provide to students in preparing them for the world of work and in working towards achieving productive careers.

Following on from the presentation, the Minister was given a tour of the UTCW facility that concluded with the laying of a stone that was placed within the outside teaching space on the rooftop terrace of the facility.

The Minister’s visit also coincides with the UTCW celebrating another milestone in its continued success - the confirmation of its 200th student acceptance – making its first year very close to full capacity.

Construction of the new £10 million, 620-place UTCW began in July 2015. Located in the heart of Warrington within the Stadium Quarter, UTCW will have excellent access to rail and bus networks. Completion of the build is scheduled for the summer of 2016.

UTCW is sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University and local employers and will offer an outstanding opportunity for the young people of the region to work with major energy and engineering employers based in the town, including Sellafield Ltd, Amec Foster Wheeler, Tenet Consultants, Nuvia, Atkins, Rolls Royce and Fujitsu.

The aim of UTCW is to integrate technical, practical and academic learning and create an environment where students can develop the abilities that industry needs. The industrial sponsors will play a major role, helping to shape the curriculum and relate it to future jobs that match the needs of the local economy.  In turn, students will acquire the skills and knowledge that are in demand from employers along with having access to the latest equipment and technology used in industry.

Speaking about her visit to University Technical College Warrington Andrea Leadsom MP said: “The £10 million investment in this University Technical College will help young people in Warrington and the surrounding area develop the skills they need to meet the challenges of the modern world. Making sure our young people have the right skills to compete is key to helping the region prosper as part of the Northern Powerhouse.”

UTCs are a relatively new concept in education, offering a safe, high quality, technically-orientated curriculum for 14-19 year olds in an environment where young people are encouraged to follow their interests and to develop them into engineering-related skills and qualifications.  At least 40% of the time spent by students at UTCW will be dedicated to the technical specialisms of energy and engineering including design and building, working in teams and problem solving.

Leader of Warrington Borough Council Councillor Terry O’Neill said: “Warrington’s reputation as a UK nuclear hub is second to none, making the UTCW a vital addition to the region’s provision for educational excellence and a leading facility whereby young people can access the necessary skills to enter into and build potential future careers within the engineering and energy industries. I’m delighted that Andrea Leadsom MP was able to visit the UTCW site today and see the progress that Warrington Borough Council is making towards helping to fill the STEM skills gap by providing an accessible and quality learning establishment such as the UTCW.”       

Sellafield Ltd’s General Council and Company Secretary Andrew Carr said: “One of Sellafield Ltd’s most important investments is in the skills and development of the next generation of professionals. Investment in the UTC Warrington reflects our commitment to providing a wide range of opportunities in education and training that will support the future skills requirements of the nuclear sector. Professionals qualified in science and engineering are very important for our company’s success, and we are doing all we can to continue to encourage young people to pursue STEM subjects and meet the current and future skills demand of the UK.”

Principal and Chief Executive of UTCW, Lee Barber said: “Today’s visit from Minister Andrea Leadsom MP to University Technical College Warrington has been invaluable, particularly with her close links to our specialisms. UTC Warrington is already proving to be popular, with applications to join Year 10 and Year 12 nearing oversubscription. Students are clearly inspired by the opportunity to gain high quality GCSE and A Level qualifications alongside leading industry and university partners. Their destination opportunities at 16 and 18 are going to be some of the most sought after in the region, as they gain the competitive edge needed for the very best careers in the engineering and science arena. And to be educated in such a modern, high tech and stimulating environment is even more motivating. Having met with all of our enthusiastic students and their parents, moreover recruited some exceptionally talented teaching staff, the future is exciting for UTC Warrington”.

Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, added: “Reaching this important milestone in the realisation of Warrington’s transformational Stadium Quarter masterplan recognises the hard work, dedication and strong collaborative partnerships forged throughout the duration of the construction process. Following our successful delivery of The Base business incubator, we are now working towards the completion of the second phase of the town centre renaissance plan at UTCW, and we are immensely proud to be acutely involved in two projects that will have such a powerful legacy within the community and the wider regional economy for generations to come.”

UTCW will offer its students clear progression routes into University, degree apprenticeships or full time employment. By working closely with local employers UTCW will offer students, as part of their studies, regular opportunities to connect with local businesses through work experience, technical projects and masterclasses.

The UTCW is a key component in the regeneration and renaissance of Warrington’s town centre. Situated at the heart of Warrington’s ambitious Stadium Quarter regeneration project; a £190 million mixed use development comprising educational, office, leisure and residential uses.  

Nick Hann; Tel: 07970 275251; Email: nick.hann@isgplc.com

ISG Plc is an international construction services company delivering Fit Out, Construction, Engineering Services and Specialist Solutions, operating in 28 countries worldwide. The company works with owners, developers and occupiers in the public and private sector for an extensive range of industries. Today the company has a turnover of around £1.6 billion.

For further information about ISG please visit our website www.isgplc.com

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ISG Plc is an international construction services company delivering Fit Out, Construction, Engineering Services and Specialist Solutions, operating in 28 countries worldwide. The company works with owners, developers and occupiers in the public and private sector for an extensive range of industries. Today the company has a turnover of around £1.6 billion.

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