A few words from our Founding Partners

Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners have spoken of their pride and delight at the school’s “Outstanding” Ofsted rating.

Representatives of our Founding Partners, clockwise, Professor Stephen Kelly of University of Hull; Sean Royce of KCOM; Dr Bruce Charlesworth of RB; Kevin Wilkinson of Siemens Gamesa; Kris MacDonald of Smith + Nephew; and Yvonne Moir of Spencer Group.


University of Hull

Professor Stephen Kelly, Special Projects Officer (Research & Enterprise) of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “The guiding principle from day one has been attaining excellence in everything the school does.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to see Ron Dearing UTC rise up from architects’ plans on paper into the thriving and highly-successful school it is today”.


Sean Royce, Managing Director of KCOM Retail, said: “We’re delighted to see Ron Dearing UTC achieve such fantastic recognition while helping its students to achieve great results and reach their full potential.

“The school has become a highly-respected and important local institution within a very short space of time and this hugely-impressive Ofsted report is due to the great work of its leadership team, teaching staff and all that work there.”


Dr Bruce Charlesworth, RB Chief Medical Officer, said: “Ron Dearing UTC is an outstanding school and the recent Ofsted inspection affirms that our employer partnership is delivering results.

“Our ambition for the UTC is to improve the employability of young people, giving them a genuine insight into future careers and building the skills required. As one of the largest employers in the region, we have much to give in terms of shaping an engaging curriculum and ultimately employing apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC to help in our pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world.”

Last year we saw the first great exam results and now we have this outstanding report. What a journey!” Kevin Wilkinson

Siemens Gamesa

Kevin Wilkinson, Head of Commercial Services, Siemens Gamesa UK, said: “This result is down to the vision, talent, hard work and dedication of all involved with the school.

“I have had the pleasure of seeing the school grow from ideas, plans and recruitment, through construction to opening. Last year we saw the first great exam results and now we have this outstanding report. What a journey!”

Smith + Nephew

Kris MacDonald, Senior Director, Manufacturing Engineering, said: “We are proud to support Ron Dearing UTC.

“Considering the calibre of students we interact with through their school projects, and now working on our site, we are not surprised to see such fantastic results.”

Spencer Group

Yvonne Moir, Human Resources Director, said: “We’ve been closely involved with Ron Dearing UTC since before it opened and we have always been incredibly impressed with the passion, skills and dedication of all of those involved.

“The quality of the students and the exam results achieved have exceeded all of our expectations and it is wonderful to see the hard work of the staff and pupils has now been officially recognised with the Outstanding Ofsted report. We look forward to continuing to work with the UTC and welcoming more talented students into our business.”

Students play their part in the fight against coronavirus

Our sixth form students are helping identify local businesses and charities in need of face shields to protect staff against coronavirus.

Six Year 12 students have been tasked with contacting hundreds of organisations, taking orders for personal protective equipment (PPE) and collecting important information to assist with distribution.

Our Sixth Form students meet online on Zoom to discuss the project with Sixth Form Pastoral Manager Alex Bulger and Area Lead Karen Arundel, from the Schools & Colleges Engagement team at the University of Hull.


The students are working in pairs from their individual homes to target specific postcode areas across Hull, identifying a need for approximately 500 face shields in each area. It requires excellent communication, organisation and research skills.

The project is part of a wider PPE manufacturing and distribution initiative led by the University of Hull, our leading education partner. The university has enlisted the support of sixth form students across the region to establish the need for more than 20,000 face shields it has made with the help of local businesses.

Businesses and organisations identified as requiring face shields include small convenience stores, care homes and counselling services, and delivery is coordinated by the University of Hull. Each business has requested between five and 50 face shields to protect their staff.

Alex, our Sixth Form Pastoral Manager, said: “I’m really proud of all the students involved and the engagement has been extraordinary.

“They have figured out a way to help people in a risk-free way and support their local community.

“They were so eager to get started and asked plenty of questions. This will be a fantastic skill and experience to add to their CVs, as part of future job applications or as part of their personal statement to apply for a university place in the future. It will really make them stand out from the crowd.”

Year 12 student James Dannatt working on the project from home


The sixth form team comprises of Natalie Bamforth, James Dannatt, Tegan Green, Dominik Gal, Joshua Lake and Harvey Easton-Minns.

Natalie said: “I wanted to get involved in this project to help people who have to continue working. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.”

James said: “I feel proud to be able to give back to the community. The people I’ve spoken to were really appreciative of the help Ron Dearing has given.”

Area Lead Karen Arundel, from the Schools & Colleges Engagement team at the University of Hull, praised the students for their efforts.

She said: “The students have shown real commitment in reaching out to find the people in need of help. They have worked in an organised way to do this, demonstrating excellent team working, prioritisation and project management skills.  A massive well done to each student involved.”

The project involving sixth form students is the latest step we’ve taken to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Glenn Jensen, our Head of Engineering, is leading a drive to create face shields for at-risk key workers. To date, 10,495 face shields have been produced and donated.

Students draw on creative digital skills to promote UTC

Our creative digital students have designed their own industry-standard advertising material to promote the school to prospective learners and their parents.

Students were asked to produce an advertising campaign to promote the school.


The class of six Year 13 diploma students used Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator software on the brief set by teachers Kate Blowman and Carrie Goodman, completing the project at home while the school is closed under current UK government guidelines.

They were asked to produce an advertising campaign to promote the school across social media channels, on billboards, at open evenings and other local external advertising platforms.

This included identifying the key messages of the campaign, learning more about advertising, photography, research, planning and understanding the associated technical and creative elements, promoting Ron Dearing UTC in the most positive and eye-catching way possible.

Students used Adobe design software to create the designs


Luke Thornton, Managing Director of Influence Media at tech hub C4DI in Hull’s Fruit Market, also ran a workshop, sharing his knowledge on what makes a successful campaign and top tips on how advertising products can differ across various platforms.

Kate, our Art and Creative Digital Teacher, said: “I wanted our students to have a shot at promoting Ron Dearing UTC in their own way, as they are among those best-placed to do so based on their experience.

“They took their own images, created pre-production and visualisation documents, and pitched their ideas. The end products are amazing and this project stands them in good stead for working in the creative digital sector.

“The fact they were able to finish their work to such a high standard at home during lockdown is amazing.”

Luke, who also ran a photography masterclass with a group of our Year 12 students last year, said he thoroughly enjoyed helping on the project.

He said: “The students were really enthusiastic, open to ideas and keen to bring everything we discussed to life. We went through real life examples I’ve produced for clients and they came up with their own.

“During my presentation, they were able to ask questions to gain a deeper understanding, and it was a really positive project. They have a great knowledge base to help them in the future.”

Education community urged to offer 3D printing skills and equipment to protect key workers

The team behind a drive to create face shields for at-risk key workers is calling on the local education community to unite in the fight against coronavirus.

Hull’s employer-led school, Ron Dearing UTC, is working with the University of Hull’s Aura Innovation Centre in Hessle to design and 3D print the protective equipment and is calling on other schools and colleges with 3D printers in Hull and the East Riding to support their goal.

Head of Engineering Glenn Jensen with one of Ron Dearing UTC’s 3D printers. The employer-led school has joined with the University of Hull’s Aura Innovation Centre to call on the local education community to unite to produce 3D-printed face shields to protect at-risk workers from coronavirus.


Glenn Jensen, Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, the University and Aura are urging them to either produce the prototypes themselves using a pre-prepared file, or loan their digital printers to Aura where a 3D printing hub can be created and staffed.

Glenn said hundreds of face shields could be produced every day with an increased number of 3D printers and the right supply of materials, and initial prototypes have already been requested by local pharmacy teams and other key workers anxious for protection against COVID-19.

He said: “Due to the current situation, lots of schools and colleges are closed and students and staff are working from home. Some of them have 3D printers which could be working 24/7 to produce these face shields for key workers who are desperate for them.

“It’s important to stress the shields have not been tested to meet any medical PPE standards, but they can be disinfected and used again.

“We want the educational 3D printing community in Hull and the East Riding to work collaboratively on this. If schools are shut over the half term, we can come and collect the printers, or they can be dropped off at Aura, where they also benefit from clean energy generation to power the printers.

“This is an opportunity to really make a difference and support and protect key workers locally and potentially nationally.”

The team is currently assessing how to source more materials to continue their drive, as well as looking at costings and another potential design which does not involve 3D printing.

Dr David Richards, from the University of Hull. The University’s Aura Innovation Centre is aiming to become a 3D printing hub for the production of face shields to safeguard key workers from COVID-19.


Dr David Richards, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Hull, said: “The unprecedented events we have seen in recent weeks with coronavirus have seen businesses and communities rally together in support of key workers.

“It is great to be working as part of a partnership which includes the Aura Innovation Centre, the University’s Department of Engineering, its Business School and Ron Dearing UTC to 3D print vital supplies which will ultimately save lives.

“In theory, if you have a 3D printer at home or in your business, you can join the national effort and support the NHS and health care organisations at this important time. We at the University want to build on this collaboration and keep the momentum going.

“If you are in a position to help, please do get in touch.”

The first batch of protective face shields produced on the 3D printers at Ron Dearing UTC.


Innovation from the University of Hull’s Department of Engineering will also be shared with a consortium of organisations in Manchester, to allow them to produce faceguards for the NHS and other healthcare providers in their region.

Hull University Business School is also establishing a network to co-ordinate all companies, schools and colleges across the region with 3D printing capability to get involved in this initiative.

  • Anyone who has a 3D printer and would like to get involved, or loan their equipment to the team, is asked to email aura@hull.ac.uk


Students learn cutting-edge tech skills to bring Veterans Village to life

Sixth Form students are using state-of-the-art technology skills to help create a visual walkthrough of the world’s first purpose-built centre of its kind for veterans.

Year 12 engineering students from Ron Dearing University Technology College (UTC) in Hull are learning how to use Autodesk Revit 3D building information modelling (BIM) software, used by leading architects, to assist in the creation of a virtual reality tour of the Hull 4 Heroes Veterans Village.

The Veterans Village is championed by TV celebrity Nick Knowles and aims to be a self-sustaining site providing transitional support for ex-service personnel and their families, creating a safe and stable environment to help them adjust to civilian life. It will include housing, training and support facilities, as well as a visitors centre for the wider community.

Left to right: Year 12 student Josh Lake, 16, Trevor Fishburn, Project Manager and Trustee at Hull 4 Heroes, Paul Matson, Founder of Hull 4 Heroes, Glenn Jensen, Head of Engineering and Employer-led Projects at Ron Dearing UTC, and Year 12 student Sam Malone, 17. Image by R&R Studio. Taken 17th March.


With the support of Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Hull 4 Heroes charity has secured a 22-acre site next to Priory Road in Hull, extending into the boundaries of both authorities.

Seven Ron Dearing UTC students are currently involved in the project outside their usual school studies after completing their Computer-aided Design (CAD) unit to distinction level months ahead of schedule. More students are expected to join the team, working closely with Cleethorpes-based Hodson Architects and the Hull 4 Heroes team over the coming months.

Working with Hodson Architects, the students are using the architectural design drawings to bring the Veterans Village to life, enabling people to have a detailed view of the charity’s vision through virtual reality technology. The end product will be used to attract potential funders and investors, while also showcasing the project to other interested parties.

Left to right: Year 12 students Josh Lake, 16, and Sam Malone, 17, with Paul Matson, Founder of Hull 4 Heroes. Image by R&R Studio. Taken 17th March.


The students’ work illustrates the advanced tech skills developed by students at the employer-led school, which specialises in digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering and is supported by a host of leading businesses.

Glenn Jensen, Head of Engineering and Employer-led Projects at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is the first time our students have been involved a project like this, particularly at this level, and the skills and software they are using have been identified as critical in the architecture and building industries.

“This is another string to their bows and the skills they are learning are massively transferable to the careers they hope to progress to.

“It’s fantastic for learners of this age to contribute to a flagship project to help support the rehabilitation of veterans, which is so important and will change lives for the better.”

CGI impression of the Veterans Village reception area, created by Hodson Architects, ahead of the work by Ron Dearing UTC students.


The Veterans Village is the brainchild of Hull 4 Heroes Chairman Paul Matson, who founded the charity in 2016 following his own struggle after leaving the Army, and TV presenter Nick Knowles, with support from Project Manager and Hull 4 Heroes Trustee, Trevor Fishburn.

Inspired by the work on the BBC One’s popular DIY SOS programme, presented by Nick, and backed by a team of supporters and a local professional design team, the charity developed the idea to house and support those in need.

The Veterans Village will include 48 homes for individuals or families, which they can live in and access tailored support for up to two years. It is hoped this village will be the first of many and the model will help veterans transition back into civilian life for decades to come.

CGI impression of the Veterans Village education centre, created by Hodson Architects, ahead of the work by Ron Dearing UTC students.


The Ron Dearing UTC students have been using their school layout to learn and practice their new-found software skills through virtual reality technology, by assessing any future structural changes required for the building, creating virtual furniture and bringing the reception area to life, before starting work on the Veterans Village.

Sixteen-year-old Josh Lake, a Year 12 student involved in the project, said: “It’s an amazing experience and I’m learning new skills for the future. The Veterans Village is a great idea and I’m really proud to be involved.”

Fellow Year 12 student Sam Malone, 17, said: “The software enables you to look at materials, change the shapes of buildings and create bespoke elements such as tables, doors and windows. It feels really good to be part of something which will help change lives.”

Paul said the students were the first of their age group to be involved in the project on this level.

He said: “Getting young people involved and drawing on their industry-level skills and inspiration is the best part of it. They are so intelligent and can bring more light to this project than ever before.

“It’s great to work together and it’s something the students can always be proud of. Of the Hull and East Riding population, 10% are veterans or are members of the veterans community. The Hull 4 Heroes Veterans Village will save countless lives and these students are playing their own part in that.”

Trevor, a former Royal Navy Artificer (skilled mechanic) and Weapons Engineer, added: “This is the talent of today helping the veterans of yesterday. They are helping the community to grow while supporting veterans to adjust back into civilian life.”

Nick praised Ron Dearing UTC students for their contribution to the Hull 4 Heroes project, which he has championed.

He said: “It’s important to us at the charity to make sure when we build the village, it’s ecologically sound and that we are using cutting-edge technology, water management, eco power creation and building materials to provide the best possible environment in which our veterans can work, live and prosper.

“To have young people who are developing new skills every day involved from an early stage to further their abilities and represent our vision to the greater public and possible investors is both exciting and critical to the success of the venture.”

For more information about Hull 4 Heroes, visit www.hull4heroes.org.uk

Kelham invited to prestigious summer school for UK’s top student mathematicians

A Year 11 student has become the first from Ron Dearing UTC to be invited to a national summer school for the UK’s elite young mathematicians.

Kelham Hillier, 16, was one of about 40 students to take on this year’s Intermediate Mathematical Challenge in school, with an ambition to progress into further rounds of the national competition.

The initial challenge was a 60-minute, multiple-choice competition designed to make students across the UK think, encouraging mathematical reasoning, precision of thought and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve problems – all without the use of a calculator. It was taken under exam conditions and the results were marked externally.

Although Kelham was one of five students to receive the top gold award and progress into the next round of the challenge, he has now become the only student – and the first ever from Ron Dearing UTC – to be offered a place at the summer school following his outstanding performance.

He is one of just 48 students nationally to receive an invitation and is among the top 1.5% of those who entered the challenge across the country.

Kelham said: “I didn’t expect to get to this point and I’m really happy and overwhelmed. I would like to go into a career involving maths, as I love problem-solving and getting to the root of something.

“It’s nice and gratifying to know I’m one of the best in this subject. I’m looking forward to meeting other people at the summer school and being able to push maths as far as I can while learning new things.”

Organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT), the summer school is one of four planned to take place in July and August, with the 57th event to be held at Woodhouse Grove School, in Leeds, from July 26 to 31. It will be led by experienced educators, who are enthusiastic mathematicians and UKMT charity volunteers.

Kelham is no stranger to success after claiming six awards at our annual Celebration of Achievement Evening last year, including the University of Hull Award for Academic Excellence.

Lisa Regan, our Lead Practitioner, said: “We are thrilled to have students of Kelham’s quality at Ron Dearing UTC.

“His achievement shows how hard he has worked on his mathematical knowledge and the application of that to solve problems.

“His enthusiasm shines through and he is among an elite group of students who have been invited to the summer school from across the country.

“It will be an opportunity for Kelham to meet with like-minded students, get a better view of future career possibilities and potentially look at new avenues of study he hasn’t considered before.”

Other students also entered the challenge, with bronze awards secured by eight Year 10, four Year 11 and five Year 12 students, and silver certificates awarded to three Year 10, one Year 11 and four Year 12 students.

Gold awards were secured by two Year 10 and three Year 11 students, including Kelham, and they all progress to the Pink Kangaroo round, a 60-minute, multiple-choice competition consisting of 25 problems.

Meanwhile, three Year 12 and one Year 13 student also competed in a Senior Team Challenge against other students from the local area in November 2019. Although they didn’t place, Lisa said they showed excellent teamwork and skill in solving complex mathematical problems.

Lisa added: “Our students have been entering the UKMT events for the last three years, but this year’s cohort really are exceptional, with five Intermediate students getting through to the next round.

“All problems set by the UKMT are calculated with only pen and paper, so strong numeracy skills are absolutely essential, which is something we have a real focus on as soon as students join us in Year 10.”

Students take design to another level in innovative smart thermostat project

Our Engineering Design students at have created their own versions of smart thermostats in a project set by leading experts in the heating industry, Ideal Boilers.

The brief, set by the Research & Development and Internet of Things teams at Ideal Boilers, challenged Year 11 students to research the innovative product and the current variations on the market.  They then had to design and prototype their own smart thermostats, using digital technology and 3D printing techniques.

Following the entire design process, they drew 2D sketches and created cardboard prototypes before generating digital 3D models using the skills required by engineers employed by Ideal Boilers, one of the school’s Major Partners.

40 Year 11 students completed the project as part of their OCR National qualification.  It was so successful that it is now being repeated with 60 Year 10 students.

Year 11 student Kelham Hillier took part in the project, which saw students create their own versions of smart thermostats in a project set by leading experts in the heating industry, Ideal Boilers.


Glenn Jensen, our Head of Engineering and Employer Projects, said: “The students’ 3D work is absolutely fantastic. It’s very unusual for students of this age to use software like this and they have really enjoyed it.

“It’s a breath of fresh air to have a project which follows industry, step by step, and goes through the same problem-solving and thought processes that you would find in a design department.

“The backing from Ideal Boilers has been excellent in terms of supplying the brief, which gets the students thinking about sustainability and design, enabling them to live that process and communicate it professionally to people in industry.”

Glenn said the students had to carry out thorough research for the project and check it against the brief, creating the prototype before final production. Manufacturing, sustainability and materials were also carefully considered in the design process, particularly from an environmental perspective.

Glenn said: “The plastic they’ve used to create their designs using the 3D printers is 100% recyclable and biodegradable and any scrap is recycled into fresh materials. The importance of sustainability is really important to us at Ron Dearing UTC and our students are very environmentally aware.”

The 3D designs, including the thermostat casing and shell, were created using 3D printers from Hull-based digital design and fabrication experts NFire Labs Limited, based at C4DI , Hull’s innovative Digital Tech Hub.

Ideal Boilers, which has more than 100 years’ innovation and experience in the heating industry, also works with local companies to create global products, including leading C4DI-based software company, Sauce.  Sauce is the tech partner that designed the software behind Ideal Boilers’ smart heating systems.

Dr Elaine Lancaster, Chief Technical Officer at Ideal Boilers, based in National Avenue, west Hull, said: “As we grow and expand in the digital technology sector for future products, projects like this really help students to understand the type of technology we may be looking for in the future and it is a pathway for student development.

“It has been wonderful to hear how engaged the students have been. This experience will make them more equipped for jobs and this is how we can create ready-made engineers of the future.”

Year 11 student Kelham Hillier, 16, who completed the project, said: “It taught me a lot about how I can improve the way I think about design and I really enjoyed it. I definitely think this is a path I could take in the future.”

Amy Rickles was one of 40 students who completed the project as part of their OCR National qualification.


Fellow student Amy Rickles, 16, added: “I gained a lot of computer-aided design (CAD) skills and found out how to create engineering drawings linked to design ideas and thermostat shapes.  I would like to be an engineer and design buildings. Doing a project like this gives me ideas for the future and the type of software I could use.”

Photography masterclass sees students capture Hull in an urban light

Year 12 students embraced life through a lens to capture “urban Hull” after taking part in photography masterclasses.

The diploma group of 14 students at Ron Dearing UTC completed a practical digital photography unit as part of their coursework and teamed up with local creative lead Luke Thornton, Managing Director of Influence Media, who shared his picture-taking knowledge and skills.

The students had to follow a high-level brief and take a series of professional images of “urban Hull”, showing how the city has changed and developed over the years. They were asked to take pictures to suit a glossy magazine and related online platforms.

As part of the project, they visited tech hub C4DI in Hull’s Fruit Market for a photography workshop with Luke and took part in a research tour of the city, including the Fruit Market, High Street and Hull Minster.

The project included meticulously planning the visit through the pre-production stage of the project over several weeks, including risk assessments and using Google Earth to map out and plan locations.

Luke said: “We went through everything that goes into taking the perfect picture, including pre-production and technical camera skills, right the way through to post-production and using industry-standard software, such as Photoshop.

“I took the students through real-life client briefs received over the years, so they have a true understanding of what goes on in the real world of photography.

“It’s not just about the picture, it’s about your relationship with the client, understanding them and making sure you over-deliver each and every time.

“The students were all very receptive and enthusiastic, they asked good questions and they got the most out of the experience. I was really impressed.”

Kate Blowman, Art and Creative Digital Teacher at Ron Dearing UTC, said the students were also encouraged to look at the smaller details of Hull, such as the cobbles, so they could be as creative as possible with their photography.

She said: “Rain during the afternoon didn’t deter them and the weather made their pictures look even more urban. They had to take about 200 pictures and they chose their favourite 10 to edit.

“C4DI is a thriving environment and it was a great place for the students to work on this project because they were treated like professionals, and they needed to work to deadlines. Luke taught them how to edit and copyright images for print, or online use, getting them ready for publication.

“We wanted to take the learning out of the classroom and help them to realise what it’s like working in a real-life environment.”

Lunch & Learn with APD inspires next generation of female tech talent

Some of our top female tech talent have attended an inspiring and empowering “Lunch & Learn” session hosted by one of our Major Partners, leading technology company APD Communications.

Hull-based APD supplies critical, life-saving software to police forces and emergency services organisations across the UK and supports critical control operations internationally.

Students attend a Lunch & Learn session hosted by APD Communications.


APD Senior Software Tester Keeley Barrick led the presentation to a group of female sixth formers, plus one Year 10 student, with fellow APD colleagues Wendy Hiley, Talent Business Partner, and Jo Ward, Head of Development Delivery.

The interactive session looked at the past achievements of female tech pioneers, including 19th century mathematician and visionary Ada Lovelace, known as “the prophet of the computer age”.

Keeley moved on to discuss present-day examples of influential women in tech such as Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki.

Keeley said: “It’s extremely important to encourage the next generation of women into tech careers because the proportion of females in this industry is still so small.

“Hull is a great area for growing talent and all the initiatives by companies such as APD and by Ron Dearing UTC give more hope and opportunity to students and graduates to go for a career in technology.

“These female students show how attitudes are changing. Hopefully they will be inspired to overcome gender stereotypes and progress into tech careers.”

APD Senior Software Tester Keeley Barrick led the presentation which focused on the role of women in tech.


Year 12 engineering student Ellie Clayton said: “I’m interested in working for Smith & Nephew or Siemens, who are both Ron Dearing UTC partners. They’re big companies and lots of people want to join them, but I think having high aspirations just helps you to work harder.

“I also used to want to work for the police but until today’s Lunch & Learn event with APD I didn’t realise there were so many tech jobs within the police service. It’s quite inspirational to see what we can do.”

Year 10 student Zoe Brown said: “Most jobs in tech are male dominated, so it’s important to see females in top roles in software companies. It shows girls they can get jobs in tech.”

Other topics covered in the lunchtime session included how gender bias can deter females from choosing careers in technology and how more role models were needed to encourage women into the tech roles.

The nine engineering, maths and computer science students then heard about how forward-thinking APD empowers its workforce regardless of gender, with many women in senior positions at the company.

Wendy Hiley said: “I’ve seen the roles of women in tech change over the years, so it’s really important for us to inspire the next generation of females into the industry.

“We’re always looking for new and exciting ideas from the next wave of talent, so we’re keen to continue to develop our links with schools like Ron Dearing UTC and universities.

“APD is such a forward-thinking company and we’re all so passionate about the work we do – which is literally saving lives through tech. Hopefully these sessions will inspire students to think of APD when they’re deciding on a career.”

Ron Dearing UTC students get inside track on exciting careers at Apprenticeships Expo

Students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) had their eyes opened to numerous exciting opportunities available to them at a special careers event.

Hull’s pioneering digital technology and engineering school held its second annual Apprenticeships Expo, with students given the chance to meet with a wide range of employers and find out more about apprenticeships and other career opportunities.

The event was again organised by Ron Dearing UTC partner employer, recruitment specialist Emmerson Kitney, and more than a dozen businesses including Spencer Group, Swift, Groupe Atlantic and Sypro.

It gave the sixth form students who are due to leave this summer the inside track on sought-after training roles with many of the area’s best employers.

Spencer Group Engineer Thomas Inglis speaking with Ron Dearing UTC students at the Apprenticeships Expo.


Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners, currently has 14 apprentices who joined the Hull-based engineering business from the UTC and four of them attended the expo to talk to students about their own positive experiences.

Engineer Thomas Inglis said: “We brought our own apprentices so the students could relate to them.

“We have an idea of how many apprentices we want to take on this year, but if we find extraordinarily high talent in the group leaving the school, we will take more on. Last year we didn’t intend on taking on 14 but the students were of such a high standard that we decided we would.

“The students here are very talented and enthusiastic.”

Caravan, motorhome and holiday home manufacturer Swift in attendance at the Ron Dearing UTC Apprenticeship Expo.


Cottingham-based caravan, motorhome and holiday home producer Swift attended again, after taking on four apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC last year.

Richard Monk, Technical Trainer at Swift, said: “We are looking for practical people because it is a very hands-on industry.

“Four of last year’s intake of apprentices were from Ron Dearing, joining us in September. They have been brilliant and are doing really well. The skills they developed at Ron Dearing prepared them really well.”

Software company Sypro, based in Hull, has a customer service support engineer position currently available.

Marketing Manager Olivia Toplass said: “All of our roles tend to have a technical aspect. The position we have available will be supporting our technical customer service and this was a really good option for us to come here.”

Maria Shepherd, HR Advisor Development at Groupe Atlantic, the parent company of Hull-based Ideal Boilers, added: “We want to make sure local talent stays with us and the digital focus here at Ron Dearing really links in with our research and development teams.

“The facilities here are state-of-the-art. They are second to none.”

Students at Ron Dearing UTC were given the opportunity to find out about exciting career opportunities with some of the area’s best employers.


More than 200 students who will be leaving Ron Dearing UTC in July after the successful completion of their studies attended the event. Students from Year 11 were also given the opportunity to speak to employers, to enable them to start thinking about their next move at an early stage.

Sam Caley, Joint Head of Sixth Form, said it was a fantastic opportunity for the students to find an exciting position as the school aims to repeat its success of last year, when 100% of students who left secured an apprenticeship, other employment or a place at university.

He said: “We’re really focused on the progression routes for our students once they leave.

“We specialise in this area and all the companies represented here know we work with our students to ensure they have excellent employability skills.”

Ron Dearing UTC opened in September 2017 offering a unique education model with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.

Specialist subjects studied at the Kingston Square school, in Hull city centre, include digital technologies, computing, digital media and engineering in a range of disciplines including design, manufacture, electrical and mechanical, systems control and automation.

Tim Watson, of Emmerson Kitney, said: “This event has helped all these businesses connect with local talent, specialising in engineering, technical and digital skills.

“These young people are the future leaders in our region.”