What is a UTC?
UTCs (University Technical Colleges) are a type of school, funded by the Government, non-selective, designed to enroll students aged 14–18, free to attend. UTCs have a university and employers as sponsors, and are supported by the local council.
UTCs offer technically oriented courses of study, combining National Curriculum requirements with technical and vocational elements, they also teach business skills and the use of ICT. They offer clear routes into higher education or further learning in work. The study day is longer than in a typical school and is more in line with a commercial working day.
Why does Crewe need a UTC?
British manufacturing industry is thriving. There is a recognition that tackling engineering and manufacturing skills gaps is essential to the continued growth and international competiveness of British industry.
Crewe and the local area is home to a number of engineering and manufacturing businesses, which need appropriately skilled young people which is why Bentley, Bosch, Siemens, Jacobs Engineering, OSL Rail, Chevron Racing, James Walker, Leoni, Air Products, Network Rail and Optical 3D, backed by South and East Cheshire Chambers of Commerce, the North West Automotive Alliance and the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders all support the need for a University Technical College based in Crewe.
It is not business alone that sees the real need for a University Technical College, this is a partnership across private and public sector to tackle a real need in the area.
The Cheshire and Warrington (C&W) LEP ‘sub-regional sectoral’ analysis has identified advanced engineering as the priority sector for the economy based on the engineering businesses in the area and the high potential of engineering. Local Location Quotients indicate that advanced engineering and its subsectors play a more significant role in our economy than anywhere else in the country.
The UK engineering and construction sector faces over a 100,000 worker shortfall by 2050, due to skills shortages, an ageing workforce and forecast migration trends. In addition the 20 year timeframe envisaged for HS2 and related projects means it will be essential to provide a pipeline of young people to meet industry demand for civil engineering and rail engineering skills. This will provide a further catalyst to stimulate demand from young people for a career in these industries.
The development of a HS2 ‘superhub’ at Crewe will have the capacity to super-charge growth and generate 40,000-60,000 jobs and provide a boost to the local economy.
The All Change for Crewe Partnership Board, comprising key private and public sector partners, are committed to realising the substantial potential within Crewe, and have made five key commitments to the future of Crewe; A World Class Automotive and Rail Hub, A Market Leader in Renewable Energy, Connecting Crewe, Achievable and Sustainable Growth and a UK Centre of Excellence for Employer Led Skills.
Crewe Engineering & Design UTC will be a fundamental part of this centre of excellence.
All industry partners have identified the significant recruitment challenges alongside skills gaps in new entrants to employment, combined with an ageing population. Without a strategy to address these issues, industry in Crewe and the surrounding area will not be able to sustain continued growth.
Employers within East Cheshire and Crewe face an on-going struggle to recruit skilled, work-ready, young people. A sustainable source of future employees is essential to the success of business in the area.
Crewe Engineering & Design UTC is a distinctive offer for the area as it blends a vocational and academic route with real experience of work, and project-working opportunities delivered by employer partners, and academic rigour provided by Manchester Metropolitan University.