Hull’s employer-led school celebrates third year of positive destinations for sixth form students

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has recorded a clean sweep of positive destinations for its sixth form students for the third consecutive year.

Every one of the employer-led school’s Year 13 students have gone on to exciting apprenticeships, university, employment, further education or the Armed Forces, securing fantastic career opportunities and bright futures.

It’s the third year the Ofsted “Outstanding”-rated Hull school has had no students who are not in education, employment or training after leaving sixth form.

Of the 117 sixth form students, 60 have secured apprenticeships with leading businesses, including many of Ron Dearing UTC’s Employer Partners, and 39 have moved onto study at university, including at some of the prestigious Russell Group of universities.

Sonoco Trident Operations Manager Andy Spencer with former Ron Dearing UTC students and CGI Artist apprentices Thomas Staniforth, centre, and Kelland Sharpe. Picture: Neil Holmes Photography.


Ten students have gained employment, five have gone onto other further education colleges and three have taken up positions with the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Ron Dearing UTC Founding Partners Spencer Group and Reckitt and have taken on nine and three apprentices respectively. Meanwhile, Major Partners Arco and Luxinar have both taken on four, fellow Major Partner Sonoco Trident has taken on two and other leading businesses have each taken on a single student.

The apprenticeships cover a wide range of in-demand roles and skills, including Engineering, Digital, Graphic Production and Research and Development.

In addition, 11 Year 11 students who left Ron Dearing UTC this summer have also secured apprenticeships, while two went into the Army.

New Arco recruits, from left, James Swinburne, Chloe Marshall, Ben Maycock and Kai Ingram with the company’s Head of Business Improvement, Neil Cavill. Picture: Hull News & Pictures.


Businesses that have taken on Ron Dearing UTC students as apprentices say the school provides young people who are fully prepared for the world of work with the skills to thrive with their new employers.

Ron Dearing UTC Governor Neil Cavill, Head of Business Improvement at the UK’s leading safety company, Arco, said: “We’re delighted four apprentices have joined us and chosen Arco to start their careers.

“It’s clear that the skills and experience they’ve gained at Ron Dearing will stand them in good stead as they begin working life with us. We’re looking forward to seeing them grow and develop over the coming years.”

Chris Newman, who is responsible for skills-based training and development at Hessle-based Luxinar, a world leader in laser manufacture, said: “Our apprentices have settled in nicely and they’re already achieving at a high level because of the skills they’ve gained from Ron Dearing UTC in readiness for the workplace.

“As a Major Partner, it’s invaluable to have the pick of the talent from the school and we’re looking forward to helping them progress within the business. Ron Dearing students are a cut above!”

Former Ron Dearing UTC students., from left, Ethan Russell, Jake Morris, Rhiannon Lowther and Jack Christian, who have taken up Mechanical and Electrical Engineering apprenticeships at Luxinar. Picture: Neil Holmes Photography.


Alex Keable, Formation Associate at Reckitt, the world’s foremost consumer health and hygiene company, is managing one of the three Ron Dearing UTC apprentices taken on by the business.

He said: “When we look for apprentices, we want independent critical thinkers, which is what we get from Ron Dearing UTC. They treat their students as adults.

“It’s tough coming into a large workplace as an 18-year-old, as many employees have degrees, masters degrees and PhDs, so it’s great that they have that mindset. It’s amazing to see how far they can go.”

Engineering specialist Spencer Group hired 14 apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC two years ago in the largest intake of young new talent and they have all now secured permanent, full-time trainee positions with the company.

Spencer Group’s latest intake of apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC: Back, from left, Oliver O’Loughlin, Tom Crossland, Carter Lees and Alfie Stanford; front, from left, Luke Raine-Ellerker, Tom O’Loughlin, Lee Chamberlain, Alex Burr and Jack Webster. Picture: Neil Holmes Photography.


With this year’s intake of a further nine apprentices and five who were recruited last year, Spencer group has hired a total of 28 former Ron Dearing UTC students under its apprenticeship programme in just two years.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman of Spencer Group, who is also a Governor of the school, said: “The apprentices are all at the required academic level, have excellent technical and employability skills and, perhaps most importantly, a brilliant attitude.”

Sonoco Trident is the world’s fastest-growing and most innovative digital brand management business and has taken on 7 Ron Dearing UTC apprentices over the past three years, including two this year.

Operations Manager Andy Spencer said: “Ron Dearing UTC apprentices come to us work-ready, they’re on time, smart, engaged and keen to learn. We’re really impressed by them and this is a really good route into the industry.”

Research and Development Apprentice Leoni Wilkinson is one of three new recruits Reckitt has taken on from Ron Dearing UTC. Picture: Reckitt.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see all of our Year 13 students move onto positive destinations for the third consecutive year.  We’re extremely proud of our track record in terms of none of our leavers being ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training) every year since we opened.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the support of our amazing employer partners and the incredible hard work of our student support team who go ‘the extra mile and some’ to ensure all our students have high-quality progression routes.

“Our unique curriculum is designed to produce students who are ready to hit the ground running when they leave and have a positive impact in the workplace or at university.

“Without doubt, the skills and knowledge they gain at Ron Dearing UTC help to pave the way for them to have brilliant futures and we wish every one of them the very best of luck.

“I cannot thank the staff and our employers enough for providing such fantastic opportunities and making sure RDUTC really does give students the edge.”

Opened in 2017, Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a unique model of employer-led education with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.