Host of leading employers back Hull’s outstanding UTC to inspire next generation

Nine more leading businesses have become employer partners of Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), inspiring students and equipping them with industry-critical skills to form their future workforces.

Cranswick, Fisher Security, Fresh Design International, Giacom, MRT and Triton Power have become Major Partners of the school, while Alan Wood and Partners, Influence Media and KLAAFE Limited have become Partners.

This brings the UTC’s total number of employer partners to almost 50, uniting dozens of outstanding businesses from across the region to offer students exciting future career opportunities.

The school’s sponsors help develop and deliver employer-led projects, offer work experience, paid employment and apprenticeship opportunities and lead the UTC’s careers, advice and guidance programme in Founding Partner, Major Partner and Partner roles.

Major Partners also play a key role in helping to develop the Ofsted “Outstanding”-rated school’s unique employer-led curriculum.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, centre, middle row, with representatives from Cranswick, Fisher Security, Fresh Design International, Giacom, MRT, Triton Power, Alan Wood and Partners, Influence Media and KLAAFE.


Cranswick is one of the UK’s leading food business, with revenues over £2.3bn. The company produces a wide range of fresh food, from pork and chicken to charcuterie meats, olives and houmous in 22 production facilities. Cranswick has a growing farming operation and has recently acquired a pet food business.

Sam Foster, Group Talent Acquisition Officer at Cranswick, said: “As one of Hull’s largest employers, we’re passionate about engaging with young talent and showcasing the variety of career opportunities available within our industry-leading sustainable food business.

“We’ve taken on three Ron Dearing UTC students in engineering, tech and new product development apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship roles, which has been a great success, and we’re looking forward to contributing to the school’s curriculum as a Major Partner.”

Giacom is one of the UK’s foremost distributors of comms, cloud, hardware and billing services, supporting a nationwide partner network of over 5,000 local, expert technology providers.

Announced as the Comms National Awards’ Best Wholesale Service Provider in September 2023, Giacom provides a portfolio of IT products and services to its partners, who in turn support thousands of small and medium-sized businesses across the UK.

Ron Dearing UTC has welcomed nine more businesses as employer partners.


Richard Wieczorek, Senior Technology Talent Acquisition Partner at Giacom, said: “Ron Dearing UTC is an amazing place which provides a really good mix of academic and hands-on learning.

“The energy and buzz from the students is really impressive and we’re devising an apprenticeship programme to employ some students in traditional IT or software engineering roles in the future.

“A significant portion of Giacom’s cloud services division has long been based in the Hull area, and partnering with Ron Dearing UTC takes our investment in the local area and the future of our business to the next level.”

Beverley-based MRT designs, develops and manufactures a wide range of revolutionary electronic distress signals, man overboard safety solutions and safety equipment for offshore industries. Its mission is to protect and save lives in the renewables, oil, gas and offshore sectors.

MRT is the Hull-based electronics division of Wescom Group, a world-renowned manufacturer of specialist pyrotechnic products for the global marine industries, producing more than 2.5 million units annually.

Students learning in Ron Dearing UTC’s new STEAM Studios expansion.


Ryan Pettit, Managing Director of MRT, said: “We want to create a pipeline of future talent within our business who can learn from our experienced team and arm the students with the skills we want to see in our future workforce.

“We’re growing our business and we’re excited for work-ready young people to join us and build their careers here. We’ve recently taken on three production engineering apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC and they’re settling in very well.

“The UTC is an incredible place with an outstanding working and learning environment and we’re very proud to become a Major Partner.”

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on creative arts, digital technology, computing and engineering.

The school has recently expanded its capacity from 600 to 800 students following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund. Hull’s former Hull Central Fire Station has been transformed into STEAM Studios, the school’s new dedicated centre for creativity.

Hull’s employer-led school is rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted.


Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome nine fantastic new businesses as employer partners of Ron Dearing UTC, adding to the dozens of other leading companies who continue to support our school and students.

“We’re expanding our employer engagement programme, so we cross an even more diverse breadth of sectors within engineering, creative, computing, science and healthcare industries, opening up further opportunities for our students.

“Our employer partners provide world-class careers advice, guidance and destinations, and we’re thrilled to be associated with them all.”

Creative UTC students add further strings to their bows

Three Ron Dearing UTC students are broadening their horizons outside the classrooms and fine-tuning their creative talents.

Year 11 students Amelia Prajsner, 16, and Jacob Kemp, 15, and Year 12 student Matthew Bestley, 16, play musical instruments, speak foreign languages or inspire others in the great outdoors, and they all hope to pursue creative career paths.

Amelia, a graphic designer on the school’s Arts Council, speaks Japanese and Polish, plays the clarinet and tenor saxophone, and is a member of two orchestras, playing at various concerts and events.

Students Amelia Prajsner, 16, Jacob Kemp, 15, and Matthew Bestley, 16, showing off their talents.


She said: “I’ve played the clarinet since I was eight and the tenor saxophone for just a month. My parents are Polish and we speak Polish at home but I was born in England, so I’ve always been bi-lingual.

“I learnt to speak Japanese through a family friend who now runs the Japanese enrichment programme at Ron Dearing UTC.

“I’m a very creative person and enjoy learning new things. Ron Dearing UTC encourages creativity, which is really exciting.”

Year 12 student Matthew Bestley has been playing the piano for nine years and is also a kayak instructor.


Jacob, also a graphic designer on the school’s Arts Council, learnt to play the flute at the age of eight and plays in a junior orchestra in Hull. He took up the guitar aged 12, has achieved a green belt in karate and also plays football.

He said: “I’ve always been interested in music and my parents bought me a guitar for Christmas one year, so I taught myself how to play. I’m hoping to form a band with my peers.

“You’re given so much creative freedom at Ron Dearing UTC and it’s an inspirational and very supportive environment. I love being active and creative.”

Matthew, who studies 3D Design, Graphics, Fine Art and Digital Media at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, is a grade four pianist and has been playing for nine years, following in his older sisters’ footsteps, and also sings at grade seven level.

Year 11 student Amelia Prajsner playing her clarinet.

He is a kayak instructor at East Yorkshire Canoe Club in North Cave, leading kayak lessons for novices and beginners, and hopes to become a coach when he turns 18.

Matthew said: “I’ve always loved water and was introduced to kayaking by a family friend. I feel very lucky to have all these hobbies because they’re really good skills to have.

“I come from a musical family and I love the dedicated creative space Ron Dearing offers. My hobbies complement my creative studies.”

Ron Dearing UTC has recently opened STEAM Studios, its dedicated centre for creativity, in the former Hull Central Fire Station following funding from the Department for Education’s (DfE) Post-16 Capacity Fund.

Year 11 student Jacob Kemp playing his flute. He also plays guitar and enjoys karate and football.


Alongside remodelling the existing school building, this has enabled the UTC to increase its capacity from 600 to 800 students and build on its growing creative curriculum.

The UTC offers an extensive enrichment programme to students, encouraging them to broaden their horizons and embrace culture and creativity alongside their studies, and also introduced the Arts Council last year.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Director of Creativity at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m always blown away by the talents and creativity of our students and we’re very proud of Amelia, Jacob and Matthew.

“As teachers, we also learn so much from the students and their creativity is inspiring. Our lessons are very often become student-led because they will bring something to the table which inspires additional creative conversations. They are a joy to work with.”

Computing students tested to the limit during outward bound challenge

Sixth form computing students at Ron Dearing UTC were pushed out of their comfort zones during a challenging outward bound exercise designed to test their skills to the limit.

Nine Year 13 students embraced the five-day challenge in Ullswater in the Lake District, which aimed to build their confidence, communication, teamwork abilities, leadership skills and resilience.

The trip, which went ahead during half term, will help the students to draw on these skills as they approach their coursework and exam period in school and prepare for their futures.

It is the second time Ron Dearing UTC staff have organised the visit through the Outward Bound Trust, which inspires young people to exceed their potential. The charity partners with schools, colleges, employers and youth groups to teach young people to believe in themselves.

Jason White, Head of Computing at Ron Dearing UTC, and Digital Teacher Robbie Olsen accompanied the students on the trip, which is now part of the annual school calendar.

The Ron Dearing UTC students on the outward bound challenge.


The challenge included team games, a jog and dip into a lake, cliff jumping, mountain climbing and gorge walking up waterfalls in pairs while guiding their blindfolded peers to the top.

They also completed an overnight expedition, which unexpectedly fell during the recent Storm Ciarán, and the students had to brave intense wind and rain to reach their camp and set up tents for the night.

Robbie said: “We’re so proud of all the students who completed this amazing challenge. They showed such resilience and faced each situation head-on.

“It was a fantastic team effort and they all helped each other through it with grit, determination and perseverance.

“On the final night, we sat around a campfire and reflected on what everyone had achieved and learnt, followed by the students presenting their thoughts to the group.

“They will be able to draw on these skills and use them in school for their upcoming studies, coursework and exams, as well as in future employment or at university.

The Ron Dearing UTC students camped in Ullswater in the Lake District.


“If they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, they know they already have the skills and tools to achieve their goals and deadlines.”

Year 13 computing student Zakk Amers-Delph, who completed the challenge, said: “I found the whole experience very enjoyable but the expedition pushed me most.

“We were in the middle of a storm and it was a really hard challenge, which meant most people were out of their comfort zones. I helped others up the mountain and hopefully provided some encouragement and support, helping to set up tents.

“I learnt a lot about my classmates and about myself and what I’m able to achieve. I also gained more time management and communication skills, which will be great for projects, apprenticeships or university in the future.”

Fellow Year 13 computing student Liv Brown said: “I definitely built up my resilience and communication skills and learnt more about leadership and public speaking during the challenge.

“The expedition was very challenging, especially in harsh weather, and I carried my body weight on my back. I have a real sense of achievement from it and have gained skills for life.”