Students promote Ron Dearing UTC at The Business Day
Students from Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) have joined company leaders in promoting the employer-led school at the region’s biggest business event.
Students Ellie Colclough, 16, and 17-year-old Sarah Long told delegates at The Business Day event how the school is setting them up for great careers with some of Hull and East Yorkshire’s leading employers.
They spoke during a breakout session at The Business Day, arranged courtesy of Hull-based specialist engineering business Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners and a major sponsor of the event.
The Business Day brought 650 business leaders together for a day of discovery and insight at Bridlington Spa as the climax to Humber Business Week. The event was hosted by BBC journalist and presenter Naga Munchetty and featured high-profile speakers Sir Bob Geldof, cricketing legend Geoffrey Boycott, business guru René Carayol and social entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn.
Ellie and Sarah related their experiences at Ron Dearing UTC during a session focused on how the school is working with industry partners to address vital skills gaps.
Sarah told The Business Day delegates: “I chose Ron Dearing UTC because of the apprenticeship opportunities with the employer sponsors. It was also my first choice because of how it is set up to help us get used to a working environment and make us more employable.
“I’ve been given a world of opportunity for so many different careers through Ron Dearing UTC.”
Ellie added: “I’m really happy that I chose Ron Dearing UTC and that I’m getting everything I can out of this experience.”
Students Sarah Long, left, and Ellie Colclough with Principal Sarah Pashley, Network Manager Hugh Boughton, back left, and Vice Principal Mark Ollerenshaw at The Business Day.
The audience also heard from representatives of two of Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners, Spencer Group and the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, RB.
Spencer Group Human Resources Director Yvonne Moir said: “Ron Dearing UTC offers something really special for us as a business and for the students. The UTC is an amazing pipeline of talent and we see the school’s students as the future leaders of the Hull business community. We want to keep that talent local.”
Matt Copeland, RB’s Global Research and Development Director for the Gaviscon “power brand”, said: “Our vision is that in 10 years’ time half of our employees in Hull have come through the UTC.
“That’s where we want to get to. It’s so important for this region that we nurture our local talent and keep it here.”
Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said Ellie and Sarah’s presentations illustrated how the school challenged and supported its students to present to both small and large groups, to prepare them to communicate effectively in the workplace. That is just one facet of the school’s focus on developing students with the knowledge, qualifications and employability skills required by the employer sponsors.
She told delegates: “We were founded by our employer sponsors to address skills gaps in engineering and digital technology. They want us to produce a pipeline of tech talent for their companies and the region as a whole.
“As well as that, everyone involved in Ron Dearing UTC is dissatisfied with the education system in this country. We don’t believe it’s fit for purpose or is developing the employability skills that young people need to be successful in industry.
“Ron Dearing UTC brings together education specialists and some of the region’s biggest businesses to do something about it and, so far, it’s been a really exciting venture.”
Ron Dearing UTC opened last September and will grow to a capacity of 600 students, aged 14 to 19, by September 2020. As well as RB and Spencer Group, the school’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull, communications provider KCOM, wind power giant Siemens Gamesa, and global medical technology business Smith & Nephew.
For more information on Ron Dearing UTC and how to apply to join the school click here.