Cutting the sod for Peterborough's new university technical college

The official breaking of ground marked the start of construction for the Greater Peterborough University Technical College (GPUTC) last week. The sod was cut by Trust stakeholders and sponsors including Anglian Water, a main employer sponsor.

Angela Joyce, Acting Chair GPUTC Academy Trust, said: “This ceremony marks history for Greater Peterborough as the University Technical College will combine academic and technical education for school age young people, providing them with new opportunities and career potential. The building will provide a high quality environment that brings business and education together and the project team are working hard to ensure the building is ready for our first UTC students in September 2015. I am delighted to be working with educationalists and industry experts in bringing the UTC vision to a reality and today’s ceremony marked an important step in delivering this vision”

The £10m development is co-located at the Peterborough Regional College site, and is set to provide a specialist school for technical education for students from the city and surrounding areas. Its specialisms include sustainable construction, engineering and software engineering to advance the education of 14-19 year olds from September 2015.

With a curriculum shaped by its employer sponsors, real-world skills will be emphasised.

Phil Brown, Chair of Governors for the Greater Peterborough UTC and Head of People Development at Anglian Water, which is a main employer sponsor, said: “There is a real skills gap emerging in the engineering sector and in this region which the Greater Peterborough UTC will help to address. By offering high-calibre students the relevant skills and training, it will prepare the engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow.

“At Anglian Water, we recently looked at the age profile of our existing workforce and found that we had many highly skilled and experienced, long serving employees and replacing them upon their retirement would be no quick or easy task. So, we are bringing in the new leaders of Anglian Water now, developing the lifeblood of our future business through apprenticeships.

“Graduates of the Greater Peterborough UTC will be in a brilliant position to step into apprenticeship positions, like ours, getting straight on the job ladder and into a successful career for the future, or going into further education.”

The GPUTC is supported and sponsored by Anglia Ruskin University, Anglian Water Services, Larkfleet Group, Marshall Aerospace and Peterborough Regional College. Now construction is underway, the GPUTC will focus on attracting students.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said recently at Prime Minister’s Question Time, “I think that they [UTCs] represent the filling in of one of the missing links in our education system that was left after the Second World War, when ironically we helped the Germans establish good technical schools but did not put them in place here in the United Kingdom. I am very proud to be leading a Government who are putting that right.”

The GPUTC received Department for Education approval earlier in September 2014. It will be running Open Evenings at University Centre Peterborough, Park Crescent Campus on
• 6-8pm on Tuesday 14th October 2014 for current Year 9 students and their parents (Year 10 Intake September 2015);
• 6-8pm on Tuesday 11th November 2014 for current Year 11 students and their parents (Year 12 Intake September 2015); and
• 6-8pm on Tuesday 5th February 2015 for current Year 9 & 11 students and their parents (Year 10 & 12 Intake September 2015)

The Greater Peterborough UTC will be owned by the Greater Peterborough UTC, an Academy Trust, which has three founding board members, a nominee from Anglia Ruskin University, a nominee from Anglian Water Services Limited and a nominee from Peterborough Regional College. In addition, a large number of local employers are supporting the development of the UTC. The UTC Board will consist of a majority of Employer and University Governors.

For further details, please visit www.gputc.com.