Mike welcomes the news that Medway’s bid for a University Technical College has been successful

new-medway

News from Medway Council website

The UTC – billed as a new concept in secondary education – has been given the green light by the Department of Education.

The UTC will specialise in engineering and construction, traditionally at the heart of Medway’s economy, and will be sponsored by the University of Greenwich, MidKent College, Medway Council and local employers. Work to get the college up and running will start immediately.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Cllr Les Wicks, said: “Medway has a rich history of construction and engineering and a college specialising in these subjects will not only continue this tradition, but will also equip a new generation with first class technical skills that will help them pursue careers in these important sectors at all levels.

“This is great news for the young people of Medway who deserve this opportunity. My thanks go to everyone who has shown their support for the bid and backed it throughout. Now the plans can really start.”

Medway Council Director of Children’s Services Barbara Peacock said: “This is great news for Medway students. The council and its partners have always been committed to the delivery of a university technical college for Medway.

“Medway’s economy will benefit greatly from having a UTC and now we are able to get on and make it a reality.

“A UTC will enable a degree of specialisation prior to age 16 that is currently unavailable and which will re-engage and enthuse students.”

Professor Alan Reed, Director of Regional Development at the University of Greenwich and Chair of Medway UTC Partnership, said:

“We are delighted that the government has agreed to fund a University Technical College in Medway.

“This college will provide a third option to secondary education, as well as a lasting legacy to Medway and the wider sub-region. I thank all those who put in so much time and effort into making this happen. The partnership now looks forward to turning its vision into a reality for the young people of Medway and surrounding areas.”

In 2012 as part of the UTC bid, more than 800 people across Medway and Kent were asked what they thought of the idea, and an overwhelming majority of those asked backed it. Research was carried out with 813 people, 596 of which were young people aged between12 – 16, and 217 were parents or carers.

And, findings revealed that out of the 596 young people asked, 546 (91.6 per cent) either strongly agreed or agreed that a UTC specialising in engineering and construction was an excellent idea.

The research also showed that 93.7 per cent of parents or carers asked either strongly agreed or agreed that the UTC was an excellent idea and 75.4 per cent said they would actually encourage their child to apply for this type of school.

Local employers and businesses also pledged their support to the college as part of the bid, including leaders in the construction and engineering industries BAE Systems, Delphi Diesel Systems, BAM Construct UK, Denne Construction and Gainwell Futures, along with the Royal School of Military Engineering.

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