Further study opportunities improve students’ employability

Sixth form students at Ron Dearing UTC are embracing the opportunity to gain additional industry-recognised qualifications to give them the edge as they prepare for their future.

Thirty-five Year 13 engineering students are currently completing accredited qualifications in Autodesk technology, which includes 2D and 3D modelling.

Art and creative digital students can apply to complete an Adobe software qualification, while digital tech and computer science students can apply to complete a Microsoft Technology Associate certification, which supports their interests and expands their knowledge.

In addition, students will be offered the chance to study Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications, ensuring they have a greater understanding of the package.

The school’s Founding and Employer Partners have played a key role in funding and suggesting the courses for students to complete during their 40-hour educational working week.

The courses, which are completed and assessed during school hours and include an online exam, are based around the school’s specialisms and support the students in becoming even more work-ready before they take up apprenticeships, employment or move on to university.

This additional layer of professional qualifications enhances the school’s already well-established employer-led curriculum and it is hoped all Ron Dearing UTC students will be able to access all of the courses available in the future.

Year 13 students Bradley Lawrence and CJ Ambler.

 

Lisa Regan, Lead Practitioner for Professional Qualifications at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is a massive opportunity for students who want to work in specialist industries and our Employer Partners are very keen to see students coming through with these qualifications.

“It is made very clear to the students that the core curriculum is the main focus. But these qualifications are incredibly valuable bolt-ons for our Employer Partners.

“Our general qualifications equip our students for lots of different avenues, but this gives them a bump up in areas of their interest and means they’re ahead of their peers when applying for apprenticeships or employment.

“The students choose whether they want to complete the qualifications and the response has been really good so far. The Employer Partners have been really engaged in this and are excited to see the influence it has, as this will also help to inform the curriculum going forward.

“It means they’re ready for current industry practices and are in the best possible position.”

Students have up to a year to complete each course and have access to the school’s state-of-the-art technology to complete the work.

The courses are run through Prodigy Learning, a multi-award winning global EdTech business, which provides digital skills certifications and learning solutions for Microsoft and other technologies.

Year 13 student Bradley Lawrence, 17, who is among the students completing the Autodesk qualification, said: “It makes you more employable and looks better on your CV. I’d like to go into the design side of engineering through an apprenticeship and this will help me when I apply. It’s a great opportunity.”

Fellow Year 13 student CJ Ambler, 17, said: “No matter where I go after Ron Dearing, this shows I’ve chosen to do this as an extra qualification and it’s independent learning. It’s easy to manage alongside my other subjects.”

Year 13 student Alex Burr.

 

Alex Burr, 17, hopes to study Civil and Structural Engineering with a year in industry at university when she leaves Year 13 next year.

She said: “I jumped at the chance to complete the Autodesk qualification. It will hopefully help me to stand out over someone who hasn’t got it. This is  one of many things Ron Dearing UTC offers to help us to progress.”

Apprentices who are not former Ron Dearing UTC students and take up apprenticeships with the school’s Employer Partners could also be given the chance to complete the courses in the future, with the school positioning itself as a training provider.

Kris MacDonald, Senior Director for Wound Advanced Manufacturing Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC Founding Partner Smith+Nephew, who also chairs the school’s Curriculum Committee, said the Autodesk qualification in particular will be useful to students and businesses, including Smith+Nephew.

He said: “At Smith+Nephew Hull, Autodesk is part of an engineer’s job and it’s nice to have. It shows a degree of aptitude, shows they can problem solve at a level that’s affective in many ways.

“Ron Dearing UTC is very mindful of skills that are relevant today and is forward looking. They translate that from their Employer Partners in a way that is meaningful and powerful to the students through their lesson plans.”

Applications fly in for sought-after places at Ron Dearing UTC

Almost 300 prospective students have applied for a place at Ron Dearing UTC in September 2021, underlining support for the pioneering, employer-led school, described by Ofsted earlier this year as a “guiding light in the educational sector”.

120 applications were received before the first Open Event of the academic year on October 8, followed by a further 160 over the next three days.

In addition, four applications have already been received to join Year 10 in September 2022.

Stringent Covid-19 rules were in place for the Open Event and each student was allowed to attend with one parent or guardian at an allocated time to experience the state-of-the-art school first-hand.

 

As well as finding out about the unique curriculum, visitors talked to staff and watched students participating in specialist activities in Science, Engineering, Art, Computing and virtual reality. In addition to hearing from Principal Sarah Pashley, they met many of the school’s Founding and Employer Partners, including a number of the region’s leading businesses.

Ron Dearing UTC has been significantly oversubscribed every year since it opened its doors in September 2017 and this year reached its capacity of 600 students, aged from 14 to 19.

There are 150 places available for Year 10 and a further 150 for Year 12 in September 2020.

The Open Event saw almost 200 prospective students attend with their parents or guardians across the evening.

Michael Ugbede with son Dafe Mike-Ugbede, 13, tour the school

 

Dafe Mike-Ugbede, 13, from east Hull, was accompanied by his father, Michael Ugbede, and hopes for a place in Year 10 in September 2021.

Dafe said: “There are so many experiences and opportunities here and  it will help to prepare me for the future. I really liked the virtual reality suite and I’m excited by the possibility of learning here.”

His father added: “Dafe has always been a very bright boy and always strived for the best. I believe this is a school for excellence and there is everything here for him to choose what he wants to become.”

Ethan Bird, 13, with mum Lisa Bird

 

Ethan Bird, 13, from east Hull, hopes to join Year 10 in September next year and attended the Open Event with his mother, Lisa.

He said: “I want to come to Ron Dearing UTC because there are more opportunities here and I’m really interested in Creative Digital. The technology they have is great.”

Potential Year 10 student Kitty Every, 14, from North Ferriby, who was joined by her father, said: “I really like the school and I’m interested in the digital element of art and design.

“I like the fact that you can do your core subjects, but also have a choice of others. It’s an amazing school and I hope I get a place here.”

Jack Williams, 15, from Kingswood, Hull, who hopes to join the school’s sixth form in September 2021, said: “I’d really like an engineering apprenticeship. The equipment is really good and I’ve got a great first impression. Everyone is really friendly, they treat you like an adult and it feels like a very professional environment, including being on first name terms with everyone.”

KCOM staff speak to prospective students

 

Visitors were able to speak to former Ron Dearing UTC students who have taken up apprenticeships with some of the region’s leading businesses, including those from Founding Partner Spencer Group. The business currently employs 19 former Ron Dearing UTC students, many of whom had work experience at the company before joining.

Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re really pleased that we were able to hold our Open Event in our amazing building rather than having to run a virtual event due to Covid-19.

“It was great to meet so many enthusiastic and interested young people and their parents and to create the opportunity for them to talk to our staff and students in person about the opportunities available here.

“I’m very grateful to our employer partners for attending so that visitors could hear from them how and why they are involved with Ron Dearing UTC and see first-hand what a brilliant contribution they make.

“It was also lovely to see so many of our ex-students who are now employed by them and to hear how well their careers are going.

“A great deal of planning and preparation went into ensuring that this was a Covid-safe event and I’m delighted so many people turned up.

“It’s a shame we had to cap the numbers of visitors but anyone who wasn’t able to come to this event can register for tickets for our next event in November. They’ll need to hurry up, though, as it’s filling up fast!”

Yvonne Moir, Spencer Group, with former students Jack Waslin and Harry Barwell.

 

Students interested in joining Ron Dearing UTC in Year 10 or Year 12 from September 2021 can register to attend the next Open Events on November 12 or January 15. To book a place, click here

To apply for a place at the school, click here.

Ron Dearing UTC students secure prized apprenticeships despite Covid-19 pandemic

Dozens of students from Hull’s employer-led school have secured sought-after apprenticeships with some of the region’s leading employers despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With other school leavers gaining places at university, securing employment or going into the Armed Forces, it means almost all Year 13 students who left Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) this summer have moved onto a positive destination.

Former Ron Dearing UTC students, from left, Tom Dubej, Oliver Walkington, Charlie Hutty, Corben Spencer and Olly Kneeshaw with Gary Thornton, Managing Director of their new employer, Spencer Group. Picture: Karl Andre Photography.

 

Twenty-five former sixth form students have now begun apprenticeship programmes at eight different businesses after completing their A-level and technical qualifications, with some chosen for the opportunities over hundreds of other applicants.

Their apprenticeships vary from rail technician to web developer, software engineer, IT support, research and development, laboratory technician and more.

As well as the Year 13 students, a further 11 learners from Year 11 have also secured apprenticeships with local employers.

Digital technology, communications and IT services provider KCOM, which is also a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, has taken on three apprentices from the school with the students chosen from 500 applicants for 10 positions.

The new Spencer Group apprentices with Managing Director Gary Thornton outside the company’s head office on Hull Marina. Picture: Karl Andre Photography.

 

Two other Founding Partners, RB, the world’s foremost consumer health and hygiene company, and Spencer Group, one of the UK’s leading privately-owned engineering businesses, have taken on two and five apprentices respectively. The Spencer Group apprenticeship recruitment builds on last year’s intake of 14.

Siemens Mobility has taken on two apprentices to be among the first 700 employees at its pioneering rail manufacturing facility in Goole, which is due to open in 2023. Siemens Mobility is the sister company of Ron Dearing UTC Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa.

Ron Dearing UTC Major Partner Sonoco Trident, the world’s fastest-growing and most innovative digital brand management business, has taken on two apprentices.

Meanwhile, Major Partner Arco, the UK’s principal safety company, and global energy business BP have each taken on one apprentice, while Pure Renewables, which designs, specifies and installs renewable heating systems, has also hired a Ron Dearing UTC student for an apprenticeship.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said she was delighted so many students had secured apprenticeships leading them on the path to exciting, fulfilling and rewarding careers.

She said: “This has been an enormously difficult year. We know how tough it has been for many businesses, employees and students, with job losses and the reduction in training programmes due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

“In these circumstances it’s remarkable that so many of our sixth form leavers have moved on to fantastic apprenticeships with world-class businesses.

“Our students have worked so hard for these opportunities and have overcome the many challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. They deserve every success and I’m so proud of them.

“We’re so grateful for the continued support of our employer partners and other local businesses for giving our students these life-changing opportunities to progress towards wonderfully bright futures. It demonstrates their continued confidence in our school and the talent we produce.”

Siemens Mobility apprentices Megan Turner, left, and Kate Rodley, with Director of Localisation, Finbarr Dowling. The new recruits have both joined from Ron Dearing UTC. Picture: Sean Spencer, Hull News & Pictures.

 

Ron Dearing UTC in Hull city centre caters for students aged between 14 and 19 and has a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering. The school was rated “Outstanding” across the board by Ofsted in its first inspection earlier this year,

Tim Shaw, Managing Director, KCOM Wholesale and Networks, said: “I know how excited the team are to have the apprentices join the business. Many people within KCOM were apprentices themselves and it makes such a difference to the organisation to come through the business on a similar journey to them.”

Gary Thornton, Managing Director at Spencer Group, said: “In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and at a time when employment is very tough to secure, it’s a great privilege to be part of a business that can give these young people this opportunity and put them on the first step to success.

“Preparing people for work is one of the great successes we have seen at Ron Dearing UTC.”

Candice Monge, R&D Associate at RB, said: “Ron Dearing UTC offer their students great experience and business acumen, and their partnership with organisations like ours sets them apart.”

Megan Turner, left, and Kate Rodley, who have joined Siemens Mobility as apprentices after leaving Ron Dearing UTC. Picture: Sean Spencer, Hull News & Pictures.

 

Finbarr Dowling, Director of Localisation for Siemens Mobility Limited, is a former Ron Dearing UTC Governor and played a key role, together with Patron Alan Johnson and Chair of Governors, Charlie Spencer OBE, in establishing the school.

He said: “I couldn’t be prouder that the first intake of apprentices for our Goole rail manufacturing facility includes two students from Ron Dearing UTC. Their appointment as among our first apprentices testifies to the fantastic talent that Ron Dearing UTC develops.”

As well as the apprenticeship successes, 28 Year 13 students have secured university places, six of them with the elite Russell Group of universities.

Sarah Pashley added: “We’re equally delighted that so many of our sixth form leavers have now gone on to their chosen universities.

“This shows how our curriculum offers a unique combination of technical and academic learning and enables our students to progress either directly to the workplace or onto higher education for further study and future career opportunities.”

  • Ron Dearing UTC is now recruiting for places available in Years 10 and 12 in September 2021, with the first Open Event of the academic year on Thursday, October 8. For further information and to apply to join the school click here.

Apprentices with the world at their feet

They were given the platform to succeed at Ron Dearing UTC, now these are among the apprentices embarking on exciting careers with some of the region’s biggest employers.

Josh Fry, 18, a software engineering apprentice at KCOM: “This is a dream come true for me because KCOM is where I’ve wanted to be since I joined Ron Dearing UTC. It’s perfect and I’m so pleased I can start work straight away.

“Ron Dearing UTC’s connections with KCOM and the courses the school offers linked to coding set me up with the skills and knowledge I needed for this opportunity.”

Josh Peck, 18, a research and development (R&D) apprentice at RB: “After just a week of work experience at RB, I knew I wanted to work for them. Ron Dearing has given me the support, advice and experience I needed to get here.”

Kate Rodley, 18, a rail technician apprentice with Siemens Mobility: “I’m thrilled to start my career here. The apprenticeship offers travel opportunities too, which is really exciting.

“Ron Dearing UTC helped me to get this apprenticeship and reach out to Siemens. They push you to be the best you can be.”

Tom Dubej, 18, an engineering apprentice at Spencer Group: “This is big opportunity for me and I’m embracing it. The support I received at Ron Dearing UTC was great and I’m very proud to be here now. I’ve always wanted to go into engineering and this apprenticeship is a perfect fit for me.”

Dylan and Josh embrace home and on site working as they begin apprenticeships with RB

Two Ron Dearing UTC students are embracing home and on site working after taking apprentice roles at the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company.

Dylan Harrison and Josh Peck, both 18, have joined RB as an Information Technology (IT) apprentice and Research and Development (R&D) apprentice respectively.

As well as gaining practical experience at RB’s Dansom Lane site in Hull, Dylan will complete an Information Systems Business Analyst qualification with a local training provider over 18 months as part of his four-year apprenticeship.

Meanwhile, Josh will complete a four-and-a-half year Applied Bioscience degree through the University of Kent, studying online and spending three days per week on site.

Dylan and Josh have joined a significant proportion of RB’s Hull workforce who are currently working from home, wherever possible, in line with Government advice.  As the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the globe, RB’s first priority is always the safety, security and health of its employees.

Numerous measures have been put in place to ensure business continuity and to maintain the supply of RB’s essential product ranges from Hull which include Dettol, Gaviscon and Nurofen.

RB is a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC and helps to guide, advise and support students as they prepare for the world of work or university, as well as offering work experience, helping to shape the curriculum and providing apprenticeships.

Marc Kirk, Senior IT Manager for Research and Development (R&D) at RB, and IT apprentice Dylan Harrison, speaking to Katy Stevens, PR Executive at Meehan Media and Comms.

 

Dylan and Josh follow in the footsteps of three former Ron Dearing UTC students who were the first to take up apprenticeships with RB last year.

Dylan, who lives in Skirlaugh, east of Hull, said: “I’m over the moon to have this opportunity. I believe experience counts for so much and this apprenticeship is going to give me that massive leg up, so I’m really excited.

“The additional subjects and enrichment opportunities Ron Dearing UTC offers help you to prepare for work. I’ve always had high aspirations and I’m proud of myself for taking this pathway with RB.”

Dylan’s apprentice role includes becoming a “face of IT” within the business and helping colleagues to understand IT, rather than solely office-based work.

His manager, Marc Kirk, Senior IT Manager for Research and Development (R&D) at RB, said while working from home can be a challenge for team members, Dylan has adapted positively.

Marc said: “It’s hard because they’re not being immersed in what physically happens, they’re not building a physical network and they’re not experiencing in person the challenges that happen every day.

“But Dylan has adapted really well and has been into the office one to two days per week so far. It’s so important, at this stage in his career, for him to have some real hands-on experience.

“Dylan’s energy, drive and fresh thinking about how technology is used by people of his age offers something different to us. He comes to us geared up to create value quickly rather than needing a lot of energy and effort, and that work-readiness is down to Ron Dearing UTC.”

Candice Monge, Research and Development (R&D) Associate at RB, with R&D apprentice Josh Peck, speaking to Katy Stevens, Meehan Media and Comms PR Executive.

 

Josh, from east Hull, is currently based at RB’s Hull site three days per week, working in the Veet team and learning about functionality, stability testing and various Veet products.

He said: “Being able to learn practical skills in the lab and having that supplemented by university is the ideal combination. After one week of work experience at RB last year, I knew I wanted to work here.

“Ron Dearing UTC offers a unique experience and the support and advice is great. I really enjoyed my time there.”

Josh’s manager, Candice Monge, R&D Associate at RB, said: “Josh has settled into the team really well. I’m really excited to have someone to teach and to see him find his feet and enjoy what he does.

“Ron Dearing UTC offer their students great experience and business acumen, and their partnership with organisations like ours sets them apart.”

RB has a heritage in Hull stretching back 180 years and last year opened a new £105m Science and Innovation Centre in the city – the single largest single investment in the company’s history.

Three Ron Dearing UTC students chosen from hundreds of applicants for sought-after KCOM apprenticeships

Three Ron Dearing UTC students have been selected to take up apprenticeships with Hull-based KCOM after the company received 500 applications for just 10 positions.

The leading digital technology, communications and IT services provider has taken on Josh Fry, Aaron Pocklington and Brandon Thompson, all 18, as software engineering apprentices, helping them to realise their ambitions of becoming fully qualified Software Engineers.

They will complete a Level 4 qualification through the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, over two years, working and studying at home and in KCOM’s offices.

They will also work with Birmingham-based bespoke tech apprenticeship provider Digital Native one week per month as they go through their apprenticeship journeys.

KCOM is a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC and helps to shape the curriculum, offers work experience and apprenticeships, as well as providing advice, guidance and industry level project work for students.

KCOM apprentices, from left, Brandon Thompson, Josh Fry and Aaron Pocklington, with Tim Shaw, Managing Director, KCOM Wholesale and Networks.

 

Josh, from Cottingham, said: “KCOM is where I’ve wanted to be since I joined Ron Dearing UTC and this is a dream come true for me.

“Ron Dearing UTC’s connections with KCOM and the courses the school offers linked to coding set me up with the skills and knowledge I needed for this opportunity, and the teachers were great.

“Everyone at KCOM has made me feel so welcome. It’s perfect and I’m so pleased I can start work straight away.”

Aaron, from west Hull, said becoming a student at Ron Dearing UTC set him on the right path to secure an apprentice with KCOM.

He said: “I’ve wanted to do this for five or six years after starting computer programming at school and going into more detail in Ron Dearing UTC Sixth Form.

“The employability days that Ron Dearing UTC arranged taught us interview techniques and helped us to prepare for work. I’m so glad I went to Ron Dearing because I probably wouldn’t have got this apprenticeship without it.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about my new role. This is definitely the right path for me.”

Brandon, from Kingswood, Hull, said he is proud to work for KCOM and is excited for the opportunities ahead.

He said: “I live locally and KCOM is a great local company to work for. I did well in the interview and I got a real buzz when I found out I’d got the job. I’m so pleased to have this opportunity.

“We learnt about the types of software KCOM uses while studying at Ron Dearing UTC. It gave us a really good insight into what we were coming into.

“I’d love to continue my career with KCOM in the future and become a Senior Software Engineer or a Software Developer.”

 

The three apprentices are excited about their new careers.

 

Tim Shaw, Managing Director, KCOM Wholesale and Networks, said helping and supporting local people and their careers is close to the heart of the business and taking on apprentices will continue.

He said: “They’re settling in really well and it’s great to hear their enthusiasm and see their drive.

“They each have a mentor and a manager, and they’ll go through a structured programme over the next few months, finding out what KCOM is all about and what it’s like to work here, as well as encouraging them to think like a customer while working as an employee.

“I know how excited the team are to have the apprentices join the business. Many people within KCOM were apprentices themselves and it makes such a difference to the organisation to come through the business on a similar journey to them.

“Ron Dearing UTC’s connections with local businesses is fantastic and creates the right connections and conversations for students leaving school. We’re already looking ahead to next year and how we build on the success of the current apprentices.”

Education Select Committee Chair hails Ron Dearing UTC as flagship for future of learning

A leading education expert has hailed Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) as a flagship school and praised staff for transforming the lives of students.

Robert Halfon, Chair of the Education Select Committee and Conservative MP for Harlow in Essex, took time out from his Parliamentary roles to visit Hull’s employer-led school.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley with Robert Halfon, Chair of the Parliamentary Education Select Committee, outside the employer-led school.

 

He met Principal Sarah Pashley and her Senior Leadership Team, spoke to students, observed engineering, maths and digital media lessons, experienced virtual reality technology and met two former students who have been taken on as apprentices by one of the school’s Founding Partners, Spencer Group.

Mr Halfon also took questions from Year 13 students about online learning, apprenticeships and concerns about exams in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Robert Halfon held a question and answer session with students during his visit to Ron Dearing UTC.

 

Mr Halfon said: “Ron Dearing UTC is one of the flagship UTCs and it’s been a pleasure to visit because everything I believe about in education seems to be reflected in the ethos of this school.

“It is clearly transforming the lives of hundreds of students. Some of them may not have been so successful in their traditional schools previously, but they clearly love learning here.

“They told me a key reason they came to this school is because they’ve got a very good chance of having a great career afterwards.

“To me, this is the future and this school is truly fit for the 21st century. The organisational ethos is second to none and there is a really great atmosphere.

“It’s all down to leadership. Every time I’ve visited a great school, I’ve found it’s because it has a brilliant leadership team.”

Robert Halfon told Ron Dearing UTC students he understood their concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on education during a Q&A session as part of his visit to the school.

 

Mr Halfon added: “I’m a huge supporter of UTCs because I think they’re the future of learning and they’re doing things that are absolutely vital because the world is changing. I would love it if there were many more UTCs like Ron Dearing UTC – one in every town and city.

“A fourth industrial revolution is under way, driven by technology, and 28% of jobs that are currently done by young people could be lost to automation.

“This is why education has to change. Students here are destined for good jobs with blue chip companies – they’re the people who are going to thrive in this new industrial revolution.”

Mr Halfon took time for a Q&A session with students and said he understood their concerns regarding the impact of Covid-19 on education.

Year 13 student Alex Burr, 17, asked Mr Halfon for his thoughts on costly university fees as face-to-face learning has decreased and more tuition is carried out online.  Alex suggested universities should offer a discount when they were unable to offer their usual curriculum.  Mr Halfon agreed that she had a very good point and said he would raise Alex’s concerns with ministers.

Robert Halfon sat in on lessons at Ron Dearing UTC, which he said was transforming the lives of hundreds of students.

 

Principal Sarah Pashley said she was delighted the visit was able to go ahead despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

She said: “It’s a really key time for a visit such as this because education is facing many challenges at the moment and it’s really good to have somebody who is influential in Government to feed back the views of staff and students.

“Mr Halfon has certainly been very interested to hear what we have to say about how we get through the difficult next 12 months in education.  It’s also great to meet someone who is clearly a huge supporter of technical education and apprenticeships and understands how education needs to change.”

“We’re very passionate about our curriculum, with its balance between technical and academic learning, the opportunities it provides for students to apply theory to real practice and the very strong partnerships we have with our employer sponsors and the University of Hull.

“Mr Halfon seems to agree with us that this approach is the way forward for education in this country. We really hope he is able to take this back to government and that we may be able to bring about some much-needed change in terms of the education in the UK.”

Pictures: R&R Studio.

Spencer Group opens door to new apprentices as five Ron Dearing students join the team

Five Ron Dearing UTC students have begun apprenticeships at one of the UK’s leading privately-owned engineering businesses.

It’s the second consecutive year Hull-based Spencer Group has taken on students from the employer-led school and they follow in the footsteps of 14 previous Ron Dearing students who remain on their apprenticeship journey with the company after taking up their positions last year.

Web development apprentices Corben Spencer and Charlie Hutty, engineering apprentices Tom Dubej and Olly Kneeshaw, and commercial apprentice Oliver Walkington, all 18, will gain knowledge and skills in their respective teams while also studying with various education and training providers.

Spencer Group is a Founding Partner of Ron Dearing UTC and supports students through career advice and guidance, setting industry standard projects, work experience and more, as well as offering as many as possible the chance to join the business as apprentices.

Tom, from Hornsea, will complete a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Construction and the Built Environment through North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe over two years.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to go into engineering and this apprenticeship is a perfect fit for me.

“Ron Dearing UTC has given me a better feel for the adult world. The support was great and it was our responsibility to prioritise our time to study, which has helped to prepare me for work.

“Spencer Group is such an innovative company and I’m very proud to work here. This is a big opportunity for me and I’m embracing it.”

Apprentices, from left, Tom Dubej, Oliver Walkington, Charlie Hutty, Corben Spencer and Olly Kneeshaw, with Spencer Group Managing Director Gary Thornton.

 

Oliver, from Bridlington, will complete a degree apprenticeship in Quantity Surveying over five years at Leeds Beckett University.

He said: “I’m learning about the financial side of the business, looking at prices and what we spend now, and where that will lead us in the future.

“I’ve always wanted to work with numbers and I’d like to become a fully qualified Quantity Surveyor in the future.

“Studying at Ron Dearing UTC was the best choice I could have made because of the links it has with employer partners and sponsors. I completed a work placement at Spencer Group when I was in Year 12, so I had the opportunity to experience the company before I applied to join the business.

“It’s going really well so far and I’m super excited to be here.”

Corben, from Hessle, will spend 15 months completing a Software Development Technician Level 3 qualification through QA Apprenticeships, the UK’s leading tech teaching provider.

He said: “Joining Spencer Group is great – everyone is really professional and approachable.

“Ron Dearing UTC allowed me to explore my options and Spencer Group looked at what we’ve learnt, so they can support us to build on that knowledge.”

The new Spencer Group apprentices are excited about the opportunity.

 

Gary Thornton, Managing Director at Spencer Group, said last year’s apprentices have played a key role in helping to shape and improve the programme for this year’s intake. They will help to mentor the new apprentices on their journey and this process will continue for years to come.

Gary said: “It’s great to be able to build on last year’s intake of apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC. We’ve seen them grow and develop and the new intake gives them somebody to mentor as they’re moving through.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and at a time when employment is very tough to secure, it’s a great privilege to be part of a business that can give these young people this opportunity and put them on the first step to success.

“Preparing people for work is one of the great successes we have seen at Ron Dearing UTC. The partner organisations have embedded themselves into the development of the curriculum, offered students a week’s engagement in the business and enabled them to learn things about interview techniques from an employer’s perspective.

“They get a really good grasp of what life after education looks like and that stands them in good stead for employment opportunities in the future. They quickly settle in and are very adaptable.”

Spencer Group delivers innovative engineering solutions in the energy, transport, infrastructure, materials handling and industrial sectors, from initial design concepts through to construction, and specialises in logistically-complex and business-critical schemes.

Ron Dearing students are on the right track with Siemens Mobility

Two Ron Dearing UTC students will play their part in the biggest and most significant current investment in the Hull and Humber region.

Megan Turner and Kate Rodley, both 18, are among 12 new Level 3 Rail Technician apprentices recruited for Siemens Mobility’s pioneering rail manufacturing facility in Goole, which is due to open in 2023.

Megan and Kate were selected from 200 applications for the amazing opportunity to be among the first of up to 700 employees at the state-of-the-art facility, where they will help to build Piccadilly Line tube trains for the London Underground.

Siemens Mobility is the sister company of Ron Dearing UTC Founding Partner Siemens Gamesa, which manoeuvred one of its 75m (250 ft) wind turbine blades from the company’s factory at Hull’s Alexandra Dock to the city centre as part of the 2017 UK City of Culture year.

Megan was inspired by the “Blade” installation, which made headlines around the world, and she is now realising her dream of working for Siemens.

Megan, who achieved a double Distinction in Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I found the blade really interesting and I also met some of the Siemens team at Ron Dearing UTC and they were all really nice, which made me think it would be great to work for them.

Siemens Mobility apprentices Megan Turner, left, and Kate Rodley, with Director of Localisation, Finbarr Dowling.

 

“I’m so excited about this opportunity and really looking forward to meeting new people and learning new skills. It’s something new and I enjoy learning on the job. I hope it will lead to long-term employment with Siemens Mobility.

“I chose to go to Ron Dearing UTC because I’ve wanted to study engineering for years and it was a perfect fit for me. It’s a really nice environment and the staff help you to prepare for the world of work. They’re so supportive.”

Kate’s desire to work for Siemens dates back four years to when she took part in an electric kit car race, organised by the Greenpower Education Trust and supported by Siemens, while she was a Year 10 student at Beverley High School.

Kate, who achieved a double Distinction* and a Distinction in Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “I’m so excited to start my career and in an adult environment, being practical and independent, while learning with the other apprentices. The apprenticeship offers travel opportunities too, which is also exciting.

“I really like what Siemens does in terms of sustainability, which I believe is really important for the future, and I want to be part of that.

“One of the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) units we worked on at Ron Dearing UTC was set by Siemens and we designed a wind turbine. Ron Dearing UTC helped me to get this apprenticeship and reach out to Siemens. They push you to be the best you can be.”

Megan and Kate will spend their first year at Siemen’s Mobility’s training partner Selby College, developing core mechanical and engineering skills as part of a three-year training programme.

Their second year will see them spend one day a week at the college and four days on placement at Siemens Mobility centres to build up their experience and practical skills, as well as four weeks at the National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) in Northampton – a £7m facility jointly funded by Siemens Mobility and the Government.

The third year will involve a six-month placement at Siemens Mobility’s metros centre of excellence in Vienna, Austria, before joining the first employees at the new facility in Goole.

Megan Turner, left, and Kate Rodley are excited to start the new Level 3 Rail Technician Apprenticeship.

 

Finbarr Dowling, Director of Localisation for Siemens Mobility Limited, is a former Ron Dearing UTC Governor and played a key role, together with Patron Alan Johnson and Chair of Governors, Charlie Spencer OBE, in establishing the school.

He said: “I couldn’t be prouder that the first intake of apprentices for our Goole rail manufacturing facility includes two students from Ron Dearing UTC.

“Megan and Kate’s stories illustrate the power Siemens has to inspire young people to embark on careers in engineering and manufacturing.

“Their appointment as among our first apprentices also testifies to the fantastic talent that Ron Dearing UTC develops.”

Our students return with confidence and enthusiasm for new school year

Our students have hit the ground running for the new school year, returning with enthusiasm and a desire for face-to-face learning.

The safety of students and staff is paramount and extensive arrangements have been put in place to avoid transmission of Covid-19, ensuring all students can return safely.

Ninety eight per cent of all students returned at staggered start times today, with temperature checks on entry, face coverings worn when moving around school and students given dedicated social areas at break and lunch times in their year group “bubbles”.

Students were welcomed back to school by staff in their year groups in the conference centre before making their way to their classrooms with their mentors to begin their school year.

New Year 10 student Cameron Branston, 14, said he is delighted to join Ron Dearing UTC and is looking forward to the year ahead.

He said: “I haven’t been in a school since mid-March and it’s great to be here.

“I chose to come to Ron Dearing UTC because it can open up so many doors. It’s a professional environment and it’s great they have employer partners and sponsors.

“One of the subjects I’ve picked is Computer Science and that’s something I hope to have a career in. I feel confident and excited.”

Year 11 student Chantel Alliaj is pleased to be back with her friends and teachers.

 

Year 11 student Chantel Alliaj, 15, said she prefers learning in school and found it challenging studying at home during lockdown.

She said: “It was stressful working at home and it’s a relief to finally be back at school. We’re focusing on our GCSEs this year and I’m pleased to be back with my friends and teachers.

“The teachers really focus on you and, if you’re struggling with something, they help you through and the teaching is great.

“We’re also in school for a full working week, which is great for preparing us for work and the future.”

Students were given “Covid kits”, including hand sanitiser, tissue packs, wipes, a pen, pencil, ruler, rubber and calculator, and reminded to check and report any symptoms to ensure every precaution is taken to protect both students and staff.

Fellow Year 11 student Charlie Goode, 15, said he is ready for a year dedicated to studying for his GCSEs in a safe environment.

He said: “Online learning was tough and it’s much better to be back at school. I feel really supported here and really safe.

“I hope I do well in my GCSEs and I’m ready to work hard. It’s great to see everyone at school again.”

New Year 12 student Luke Blackwood, 16, who will study triple engineering, said: “I’m excited to start learning and meet new people. It’s not the same when you have to learn at home and face-to-face is much better.

“The staff and facilities are great, and the courses are brilliant too, so Ron Dearing UTC is a nice place to be.

“Coming here is a great chance to hopefully secure a job for life in the future. My grandad was an engineer and that’s my aim too.”

Year 11 student Charlie Goode says it’s great to see everyone at school again.

 

Fellow Year 12 student Catherine Crees, 16, is also new to the school and will study Maths, Physics and Engineering.

She said: “I think Ron Dearing UTC is the best place for me to study to get an apprenticeship in the future. I really like everything I’ve heard about the school and the teaching style.

“The communication for me preparing to come here has been so good and I’ve always had a quick response, even during lockdown. I’m looking forward to studying something new and can’t wait to start learning.”

Our Principal Sarah Pashley said: “It’s so lovely to finally have all our students back in lessons and learning. We’ve missed them.

“I’m delighted to report that attendance is 98%, which is fantastic and shows how keen our students are to be back at school.

“Our new Year 10s and Year 12s have all turned up with extremely positive attitudes.  Our existing students, who are always brilliant advocates for Ron Dearing UTC, are all raring to go.

“Staff and students are being very supportive about adhering to the Covid-19 rules regarding face coverings, social distancing and hygiene. There’s a fantastic buzz around the place and it’s great to be back.”

For more information about our return to school arrangements, click here.

Welcome back – September 2020 reopening

We’re looking forward to welcoming all our students into school on Wednesday, 9th September, for the start of the 2020/21 academic year.

We have put in place extensive arrangements to ensure the safety of students and staff. Here are the details.

 

Our priorities

  • Maximise the safety of staff and students.
  • Reduce transmission of COVID-19.
  • Ensure all students return to school and to face-to-face learning.

 

Strategies in place to minimise risk of transmission

  • Students to arrive and enter via reception turnstiles. Temperature checked on entry. Face coverings put on.
  • Breaks to be taken in ‘bubble social areas’:
    • Year 10 – Floor 2.
    • Year 11 – Conference Centre.
    • Year 12 – Floor 1.
    • Year 13 – Floor 3.
  • The dining room will be closed to students at break times. Students to bring water/snacks to school to eat in bubble social areas at break.  No fizzy/energy drinks are allowed. Water bottles will be provided on September 9th.
  • Lunch:
    • Years 11, 12 and 13:
      • Lunch to be spent off site or in bubble social areas or in Dining 2 (if food pre-ordered from RDUTC).
      • Lunches purchased from RDUTC to be pre-ordered.
      • Access to Dining Room Servery limited to between 12.50pm and 1.15pm.
    • Year 10:
      • Lunch to be spent in bubble social area or in Dining 1 (if food pre-ordered from RDUTC).
      • Lunches purchased from RDUTC to be pre-ordered.
      • Access to Dining Room Servery limited to between 12.30pm and 12.50pm.

 

PPE Hygiene

In addition to handwashing/sanitiser/deep cleaning, etc:

  • RDUTC to provide students with a ‘COVID-kit’ to include: hand sanitiser; tissue packs; wipes; pen; pencil; ruler; rubber; calculator.
  • RDUTC to provide students and staff with washable, non-medical face coverings which MUST be worn:
    • On entry to school.
    • When moving around corridors.
    • In Dining Room 1 Servery.
    • On public transport to and from school, if relevant.
  • Students to wipe down work areas/keyboards before and after use.
  • Rooms and equipment to be cleaned before and after each lesson.

 

Response to symptoms

  • Where possible, staff and students to test temperature before setting off for school. If temperature is above 37 degrees:
    • Stay at home and self-isolate.
    • Call Attendance Line to report absence.
    • Get a COVID-19 test.
    • Contact RDUTC with test outcome.
  • Temperature reader at entrance barriers to test staff and students. If temperature is above 37 degrees:
    • Go to COVID Isolation Room (reception).
    • Temperature re-tested after 15 minutes.
  • If temperature is still above 37 degrees:
    • Students: parents contacted to collect – self-isolate – get a test – contact RDUTC with test outcome.
    • Staff: go home – self-isolate – get a test – contact Principal with test outcome.
  • Students displaying symptoms during the day: alert SLT – face covering on – sent immediately to COVID Isolation Room – parents contacted to collect – get a test – contact RDUTC with test outcome.
  • Staff displaying symptoms during the day: face covering on – alert SLT for cover – go home – get a test – contact Principal with test outcome.

 

Daily safety check: students

Before coming to school each day, please check the following:

  • You are not currently suffering from any of the following:
    • A fever (high temperature).
    • Persistent cough.
    • Breathlessness.
    • An altered sense of taste/smell.
  • No-one in your household is currently suffering from any of the above.
  • No-one in your household is currently self-isolating due to local guidance on COVID-19 infection.
  • You have no reason to believe that you are at genuine risk of having been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
  • No-one in your household has received a positive COVID-19 test result in the past 14 days.

If you are unable to answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the above statements you must NOT come to school.  Please ring the Attendance Line on 01482 222299.

 

Note to parents / carers

  • If you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 infection you and your son/daughter should:
    • Self-isolate.
    • Ring the Attendance Line on 01482 222299
    • Get a COVID-19 test.
    • Contact RDUTC with the test outcome.
  • If you wish to drop-off and /or collect your son/daughter from school by car, you must use the History Centre car park behind RDUTC and remain in your car.
  • If you wish to walk with your son/daughter to and from school, you must leave them and pick them up from an area more than 50 meters from RDUTC.
  • You must not gather at entrance doors or the area immediately surrounding RDUTC.
  • You must not enter the RDUTC building unless you have a pre-arranged appointment.
  • Please phone reception on 01482 222299 to arrange meetings.

 

Thank you for your support.