Ron Dearing UTC student set to represent UK at international camp in Argentina

A Ron Dearing UTC student who is part of a global organisation dedicated to inspiring peace is set the represent the UK in Argentina later this year.

Year 11 student George Campbell-Hamilton, 15, is a member of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a not-for-profit organisation which educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.

It supports children and young people to develop their potential as future leaders and active citizens, encouraging them to make a difference in their own communities and across the world.

Members also build global friendships and networks, learning more about human rights, diversity, conflict resolution and sustainable development while promoting friendship and mutual understanding to achieve peace.

George will travel to Argentina as an International Peace Delegate on Boxing Day, December 27, and meet other delegates from across the world at the two-week camp.

Year 11 student George Campbell-Hamilton is a member of Children’s International Summer Villages (CISV), a not-for-profit organisation which educates and inspires action for a more just and peaceful world.


George, who was inspired to join CISV after his sisters pursued similar paths with the organisation, said: “We talk about what’s happening in our own country, as well as about the environment and global issues.

“Being part of CISV since I was nine years old has given me more confidence to speak in front of large crowds and knowledge of new things happening in the world and human rights. I’ve learnt so much.

“You meet so many different people from different backgrounds and experience their culture. I’m really excited to go to Argentina and do the same there.”

George, who hopes to become an Astrophysicist, Anaesthetist or a Radiologist in the future, has already represented the UK at CISV camps in Portugal, Brazil and Sweden, as well as closer to home in London and Leeds.

He added: “I think people across the world can often be quick to act without thinking about the consequences on the environment and peace relations.

“Being part of CISV helps me to take into account a lot more factors around world issues than I would have done before.”

Founded in 1950, CISV member associations operate in more than 60 countries and over 200 cities around the world.

CISV is a global organisation dedicated to inspiring peace


CISV is also an official partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation  (UNESCO), which promotes world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re incredibly proud of George and the work he is doing to broaden his own horizons while understanding and learning more about important global issues and cultures.

“The skills he is gaining through CISV will help him throughout his entire life, especially as he begins to think about his next steps after Ron Dearing UTC.

“We actively encourage our students to embrace opportunities like this this outside the classroom to enrich their learning and give them new experiences. We’re looking forward to hearing more about George’s trip to Argentina when he returns.”

Ron Dearing UTC tops national apprenticeships table

Hull’s Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has been named as the country’s top performing school or college for the percentage of students moving on to apprenticeships following sixth form.

The employer-led school, which is rated Outstanding by education regulator Ofsted, is ranked number one out of more than 4,500 schools and colleges in England in the Department for Education’s latest destinations data for Year 13 leavers.

Of the 74 Year 13 sixth form students who took Level 3 A-level or technical qualifications in 2019, more than half (54%) went onto apprenticeships and sustained their destination – the highest percentage of any English school or college.

In addition, almost every student went onto positive destinations, including 32% progressing to further or higher education and 9% securing employed roles which were not apprenticeships.

The data for Ron Dearing UTC covers students who studied level 3 qualifications, including A-levels in Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Level 3 technical qualifications in Engineering, iMedia, Art and Design and Computing.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley.


The news comes during National Apprenticeship Week 2022 – the 15th annual celebration of the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “This is fantastic news. We thought we were the most successful school or college within our region in terms of students taking up apprenticeships and we knew we were significantly above the national average, which was 7% in 2019. But we didn’t know, until now, that we were the country’s top performing school for progression to apprenticeships.

“It’s a credit to our unique curriculum, employer-led model of learning and links with leading businesses across the region, many of whom recruit our students into high-quality apprenticeships.

“It’s also notable that six of the top 10 schools and colleges included in the data are UTCs, which demonstrates that the UTC educational approach is delivering the knowledge and skills employers want and industry needs.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our brilliant university and employer partners, who play such a vital role in our students’ impressive successes. It’s another proud achievement for Ron Dearing UTC and everyone associated with us.”

The apprenticeships secured by the 2019 Ron Dearing UTC sixth form students were varied, ranging from engineering and web development, to manufacturing, quality control, accountancy and more.

Spencer Group apprentice Evie Westoby, a former student of Ron Dearing UTC.


Since then, in both 2020 and 2021 every one of the Ron Dearing UTC’s Year 13 students went on to apprenticeships, university, employment, further education or the Armed Forces.

The outstanding record of progression into apprenticeships underlines Ron Dearing UTC’s success in delivering on the school’s vision to create work-ready young people with the advanced digital and engineering skills needed by businesses across the region.

Former student Evie Westoby, now 21, left Ron Dearing UTC in 2019 to begin an engineering apprenticeship at Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners. She has since become one of 14 former students who have secured permanent roles with the Hull-based engineering business.

Evie, who is now a Trainee Engineer, said: “Ron Dearing UTC played a major part in helping me to secure an apprenticeship because of the connections it has with so many businesses. The school helped me to grow in confidence and pushed me to get to where I am now.

“I’m part of the Mechanical and Electrical team at Spencer Group and my role involves both office and site-based roles. At the moment I’m working from drawings to quantify materials and pricing, produce quotes and go to suppliers to source the right products that also offer best value for money.

“I love my job and I want to work my way up within the business, gaining as many qualifications as I can.”

Ethan Russell left Ron Dearing UTC last year to begin a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship at laser manufacturer Luxinar.


Ethan Russell, 18, left Ron Dearing UTC last year to begin a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship at Hessle-based industrial laser manufacturer Luxinar, a Major Partner of the UTC.

Ethan said: “Being a Luxinar apprentice is helping me learn more about the industry and it’s a really good company to work for. Gaining engineering and manufacturing theory and experience at Ron Dearing UTC has stood me in good stead for this role.”

Yvonne Moir, HR Director at Spencer Group, said apprenticeships and the pipeline of talent from Ron Dearing UTC were vital to the business.

She said: “The standard of students the UTC produces is exceptional. This is evidenced not only by their technical and academic skills, but by their level of maturity, willingness to learn, positive attitudes and work readiness. These attributes make them perfect candidates for the Spencer Group’s talent stream.

“The fact we have recruited 28 of our apprentices from the UTC since 2019, 14 of whom have already become permanent employees, is testament to the UTC’s success. A further 19 students are also about to attend the final stage of this year’s recruitment process for our 2022 intake of apprentices.”

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.

The school’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group.

It is also supported by Hull City Council and many other industry partners, including Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Heald, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group, Sonoco Trident and more.

Details of the Ron Dearing UTC performance for apprenticeship destinations compared to other schools and colleges in England can be seen via this link: All schools and colleges in England – GOV.UK – Find and compare schools in England (

Ron Dearing UTC students given golden chance of success with new gym partnership

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has teamed up with a Hull fitness centre for a unique partnership to further improve its students’ wellbeing and life prospects.

Hull’s employer-led school has partnered with the Fit24 gym, run by businessman Jack Burton and Olympic boxing gold medalist Luke Campbell, to educate students about all aspects of health and fitness.

Every Key Stage 4 student at the Ofsted “Outstanding”-rated school now has free access to the gym for a timetabled one hour a week.

They are able to use all the facilities at the gym on Prospect Street, Hull city centre, just a short walk from the school on Kingston Square, and are learning about nutrition and different forms of exercise.

The new partnership is also educating the students about discipline, dedication and routine to improve their employability.

From left, Ron Dearing UTC’s Deputy Head of Creative Digital, Kate Blowman, Hull sporting icon Luke Campbell, Sarah Pashley, Principal at Ron Dearing, and Jack Burton, founder and owner of Fit24.


Jack, who launched the Fit24 gym, and Luke, who became a household name when he won bantamweight gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, launched the partnership with a talk to the Year 10 students at the school.

Following the showing of a brief film about how ‘Cool Hand’ Luke overcame adversity in his glittering boxing career, the school’s Deputy Head of Creative Digital, Kate Blowman, held a Q&A session with the two business partners.

Students also asked questions of their own as Jack and Luke gave them advice on how to follow their dreams and be successful in life.

Luke, who was appointed MBE for services to boxing following his Olympics success and went on to have a highly successful professional career, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have teamed up with Ron Dearing UTC as it’s a partnership that makes perfect sense.

“We love what the school stands for and what it’s doing for its students. All the teachers really care about them and go above and beyond to give them the best possible chance of success, and we want to help with that.

“We’re helping educate them about all aspects of physical and mental health. These will be invaluable lessons to them now and in later life as they pursue their ambitions.”

Jack launched the Fit24 business, which includes a centre on Hessle Road, west Hull, and recently brought Luke on board as his partner at the Prospect Street gym. Both gyms are open 24-hours-a-day.

Jack Burton and Luke Campbell taking part in a Q&A with Ron Dearing UTC Deputy Head of Creative Digital Kate Blowman to launch the school’s new partnership with Fit24.


He said: “It was fantastic to launch this exciting new partnership by going into the school and talking to the students.

“We told them that hard work and dedication are the keys to success, along with working alongside fantastic people, and that’s what they have at Ron Dearing.

“Everyone at the school has the same focus to improve the students’ chances of achieving their dreams, whatever they may be, and we’re proud we’ll now be playing our part too.”

Fit24 has become a Major Partner of the school and Principal Sarah Pashley said it was an important development in Ron Dearing UTC’s drive to improve the prospects of each and every one of its students.

She said: “This new partnership with Fit24 will be a huge benefit to our students.

“Along with the obvious physical and mental health benefits of being able to use all the facilities and resources available at the gym, it will also further reinforce the values we instil in them around working hard to become the best they can be.

“These are important life lessons and will also be crucial when it comes to launching exciting careers in their chosen areas.”

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.

The school’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, RB, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group.

It is also supported by Hull City Council and many other industry partners, including Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Three more leading businesses partner with Ron Dearing UTC to open up exciting opportunities for students

Three more leading businesses have teamed up with Ron Dearing UTC to open up further exciting opportunities for students and help shape their potential future employees.

Graphics and signage experts Designs Signage Solutions and specialist pipework fabricators and steelwork erectors CDS Energy Services have become Major Partners, while overhead line, underground cable and substation system leaders LSTC Group has become a Partner.

Working alongside the school’s Founding Partners, the Ofsted Outstanding-rated school’s Major Partners and Partners develop and deliver employer-led projects, provide work experience placements and lead the careers information, advice and guidance programme.

Major Partners also play a key role in the development of the UTC’s unique, employer-engaged curriculum, while both Partners and Major Partners contribute financially to the school and recruit many students as apprentices within their businesses.

Established almost 30 years ago, Hull-based Designs Signage Solutions has grown to a 41-strong team operating from 48,000sq ft premises, offering bespoke briefs, designs and installation signage solutions to retail, corporate, sports stadia, vehicle livery and building sectors across the UK.

From left, Richard Shipley, Finance Director at LSTC Group, Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, Chris Murphy, Drawing Manager at Designs Signage Solutions, and Danny Laybourne, Managing Director of CDS Energy Solutions.


Drawing Manager Chris Murphy said becoming a Ron Dearing UTC Major Partner will help to establish a new pipeline of talent in the industry and the company has already employed one former Ron Dearing UTC student, Ben Moodie, as a trainee in the Graphics Production department.

He said: “We want to engage with young talent and this partnership gives us a platform to work with the students, identify rising stars before they leave school and show them our industry and what we’re about.

“Ron Dearing UTC acclimatises its students to a full working week, rather than a normal school day, to help them get ready for work. By working together and playing a part in the curriculum, we’ll be able to help to shape what we want to see in our future employees.”

CDS, which has its head office at Burma Drive in east Hull, works in the oil, gas, petrochemical and nuclear industries. The business has 30 staff and dozens of additional subcontractors, with clients including Tricoya, Vivergo Fuels, px Group, Mitsubishi and more.

Managing Director Danny Laybourne said the business plans to take on Ron Dearing UTC students as apprentices in the future, potentially including in Planning and Quality Assurance (QA) roles.

He said: “There’s a lack of young people coming through in this industry and we can see that shortage of quality continuing, which is why we wanted to get involved in Ron Dearing UTC.

“With Ron Dearing students, we won’t have to start from scratch because they will have completed courses which stand them in good stead to progress within the industry.”

New Partner LSTC Group provides engineering solutions to the electricity sector, specialising in the design and survey of overhead lines, underground cables and substation systems in the UK and internationally. Alongside it’s Driffield head office, the company also has offices in Belfast, Derby, London and South Wales.

From left, Danny Laybourne, Managing Director of CDS Energy Solutions, Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, Richard Shipley, Finance Director at LSTC Group, and Chris Murphy, Drawing Manager at Designs Signage Solutions.


Finance Director Richard Shipley said the company is keen to increase his 85‐strong workforce to 100 within the next two years, including more women in engineering, and plans to offer opportunities for work experience, apprenticeships and paid employment to Ron Dearing UTC students.

He said: “I believe that in order to fulfil all of the ambitious plans to achieve carbon net zero and clean energy, it will require a lot of work on infrastructure across the country and globally. There are not enough engineers in the world to do that work and the only solution is to bring more people into engineering.

“We want to be part of encouraging people to come into this industry and Ron Dearing UTC is doing a great job of facilitating that.”

Every one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Year 13 students have gone on to exciting apprenticeships, university, employment, further education or the Armed Forces for three consecutive years.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Designs Signage Solutions and CDS Energy Services as Major Partners and LSTC Group as a Partner.

“Their decades of combined experience will be invaluable to our students and open up further career opportunities in these growing industries.”

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.

The school’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and leading local employers KCOM, Reckitt, Siemens Gamesa, Smith+Nephew and Spencer Group.

It is also supported by Hull City Council and many other industry partners, including Arco, C4DI, Fujitsu, Green Port Hull, Ideal Boilers, INEOS Acetyls, Kohler Mira, Luxinar, NEC Software Solutions, Ørsted, Sauce, Sewell Group and Sonoco Trident.

Students work with Mexican artist to create climate change mural

Fine art and photography students at Ron Dearing UTC have completed a colourful mural to raise awareness of climate change.

Nine Year 11 students worked with Mexican mural artist Gustavo Chavez Pavon to show the impact climate change and flooding could have on Hull in the future as part of the Shorelines Project.

Gustavo, who works across the world, recently created a mural at Scottish Opera’s production studios in Glasgow during the global United Nations (UN) climate change conference COP26.

He said: “This is a very good example of hands-on learning and the students have brought their individual styles to the mural. I’ve really enjoyed working with them and everyone involved.”

The Shorelines Project was created by Rights : Community : Action, a coalition of campaigners, lawyers, planners, facilitators, writers and scientists with a shared commitment to tackling the climate emergency.

Ron Dearing UTC students working on the mural.


The group is working in partnership with Drunk Animal Creative Studio in Hull, linking action to art through a series of large scale murals across the city.

The mural, which also involved Friends of the Earth and local artists, now needs a home and the team behind the project are looking for a prominent public space in Hull to display the piece.

Jonny Winn, Project Manager at Drunk Animal Creative Studio, said: “Our generation and generations before haven’t done enough to tackle climate change and these students are the future.

“They are very passionate about climate change and that comes through in the mural, which shows the tidal barrier breaking, butterflies, bees and flooding. We’re now looking for somewhere to display it for all to see.”

Rights : Community : Action Chief Executive Naomi Luhde-Thompson said: “I’m blown away by the mural. It’s so powerful and the students have put so much work into it. It shows a lot of hope and energy and it’s really positive. It’s their future and their voice, which is what’s important.”

Year 11 students Samuel Fewlass and Emma Giblin.


Lynn Garland-Collins, Creative Director at Ron Dearing UTC, praised the students for their enthusiasm and creativity.

She said: “I’m extremely proud of our students and over moon with what they have achieved.

“Art is a visual language and it’s fantastic to see their ideas come together. This has been a truly unique experience and it’s wonderful for them to work with Gustavo.”

Student Samuel Fewlass, 15, said: “Creating the mural was fun and a new experience. I’m proud to be part of it and I think we’ve got the climate change message across.”

Fellow student Emma Giblin, 15, said: “I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s great to be able to share our artwork and see what other people think.”

Talent-scouted student Harry signs for Hull KR Under 16s

A Ron Dearing UTC student has been signed by Hull Kingston Rovers to pursue his rugby passion in the club’s Under 16s team.

Harry Wilson, 15, has been offered a scholarship by the Robins after he was spotted by a talent scout during a match for his current club, West Hull Under 16s.

The Year 11 student currently plays in the number 9 Hooker position and hopes to take up a similar position when he starts his new sporting venture in the east of the city this month.

Harry, who has played rugby since the age of nine, said: “I’m really happy I’ve been approached and offered this chance. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it has given me a confidence boost and my family and friends are so excited.

“A talent scout saw me in action and said they wanted a defensive Hooker who isn’t scared to get stuck in, which is great.

Harry Wilson is delighted to have signed for Hull KR.


“It’s really important to have an education as well as playing rugby, which is why I wanted to come to Ron Dearing UTC. You need skills and knowledge under your belt and you can’t just be good at rugby.

“I’m really interested in Engineering and I’d like to stay on in Ron Dearing’s sixth form, learning alongside my rugby scholarship. I can’t wait to get started.”

Harry, who said he will also continue playing for West Hull in the short term, will train with the Under 16s on the 4G pitch at The Marvell College in east Hull each week, as well as training in the gym at the Hull College Craven Park Stadium, the home of Hull KR.

He will follow a healthy diet and learn the importance of nutrition and exercise as part of his scholarship, setting him up for a positive start in rugby league.

Harry said: “You have to share what we eat and you’re rewarded for looking after yourself and eating properly. We’ll be playing against strong teams and it’s important to look after your health.”

Harry Wilson can’t wait to start his rugby scholarship.


Steve Willacy, Head of School at Ron Dearing UTC, said Harry has a bright future ahead of him.

He said: “We’re incredibly proud of Harry for securing this scholarship and it will be a great opportunity for him to pursue a sport he’s really passionate about.

“Sport promotes great physical and mental health and we encourage our students to embrace opportunities such as this to broaden their horizons in addition to their school lives.

“Harry is very committed to his schoolwork and we have no doubt he will excel in rugby too. We wish him all the very best.”

Founding and Employer Partners help students prepare to make outstanding first impressions

Year 13 students at Ron Dearing UTC took part in a range of workshops last week to give them the edge when applying for apprenticeships, employment or university places.

Representatives from several of the school’s Founding and Employer Partners spent time with almost 130 students across three days, helping them develop their professional profiles for CVs and application forms and sharing interview techniques before putting them through mock interviews.

The workshops also provided an ideal opportunity for the students to make a strong impression with the Employer Partners, which include some of the region’s leading businesses, ahead of the next round of applications for 2022 apprenticeships.

Harper Fox Partners, a Partner of Ron Dearing UTC, is an innovative recruitment company pioneering leadership and executive search solutions for the global energy, engineering, technology and manufacturing industries. The company was founded by The Apprentice 2019 finalist Scarlett Allen-Horton. Lord Sugar, who hosts the hit BBC television series, has since invested in her business.

Scarlett and the company’s Business Development Manager Luke Munday shared CV writing and pitching skills, as well as top tips on how students can promote their ‘personal brand’ and profiles to make a positive first impression.

Ron Dearing UTC students taking part in the workshops.


Students were encouraged to work in groups to share their ideas before volunteers presented their pitch to their peers, encouraging confidence and leadership.

Scarlett spoke to the students as part of Harper Fox Partners’ ‘From Classroom to Boardroom Alliance’, which inspires students to be the best they can be at the highest level.

The Alliance recognises skills shortages within the energy, technology and engineering sectors across the world and aims to encourage young people, particularly young women, to pursue a career within these industries.

Scarlett said: “It was brilliant to meet the students and they were all so passionate and engaged.

“They have so many opportunities open to them through Ron Dearing UTC. It’s a privilege to be able to share knowledge and expertise that will hopefully support the next generation of leaders in our sectors, which we are so passionate about.”

Luke said: “The students are going away from this workshop knowing how to promote themselves.”

Students also took part in workshops about how to stand out from the crowd with representatives from Founding Partners Siemens Gamesa and Spencer Group.

This Siemens Gamesa session focused on how to complete application forms effectively and perform well at interview to set them apart from other applicants, as well as more on personal brand, values, strengths, skills and achievements.

Jamie Mears and Haitam Amudi.


The Spencer Group session focused on potential negative features of an interview and how best for students to introduce themselves, alongside a presentation on top tips for online and in-person interviews.

Mock interviews then took place with 20 representatives from Founding and Employer Partners to enable the students to practice their interview technique and receive feedback from professionals about what they did well and how they could improve.

Lisa Regan, Assistant Principal for Professional Qualifications at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It was an extremely valuable week for our Year 13 students and a fantastic opportunity to have industry professionals offering them one-to-one and group advice.

“Being able to promote themselves really well and talk confidently about their own skills and qualities will help our students progress to where they want to be in the future.

“We’re grateful to all of our Founding and Employer Partners for giving up their time to share their wealth of knowledge, experience and professional guidance. It really will make a difference as our students choose their next steps.”

Year 13 student Haitam Amudi, 18, said the workshops were extremely informative and useful.

He said: “Harper Fox Partners gave us an insight into how to write a professional profile and deliver it. They also provided us with a really professional CV template. It was a very valuable experience.”

Fellow Year 13 student Jamie Mears, 18, said: “We found out more about the importance of not over-talking in interviews and sharing our personal achievements, but also asking questions about the company you’re being interviewed for. I found it really helpful.”

Former Ron Dearing UTC students are in safe hands with apprenticeships at Arco

Four former Ron Dearing UTC students have hit the ground running in digital apprenticeship roles at the UK’s leading safety company.

Arco, one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners, has recently moved to a state-of-the-art new office in the thriving Fruit Market waterfront area of Hull and is expanding its digital capabilities as the business continues to grow.

Chloe Marshall is working in the Project Management Office (PMO), Ben Maycock and Kai Ingram have taken on digital engineering roles and James Swinbourne has joined Arco’s cyber security team.

From left, apprentices James Swinburne, Chloe Marshall, Ben Maycock and Kai Ingram, with Neil Cavill, Head of Business Improvement at Arco, centre. Picture: Hull News and Pictures. 


Apprentice Software Developer Chloe said: “I’ve settled into Arco really well and everyone is so supportive and welcoming. I’ve already learnt so much and I’m glad I’ve joined the company.

The apprentices, all aged 18, will receive guidance from an Arco business mentor as well as first-hand support from former Ron Dearing UTC students who are already working in the business.

The support structure will provide a strong foundation as the apprentices complete Arco’s two-year “Future Experts” programme.

First launched in 2016, the programme has now seen almost 40 apprentices taken on to develop the next generation of talent, cementing Arco’s commitment to the city and its significant investment plan to support the growth of its business.

Neil Cavill, Head of Business Improvement at Arco and a Governor at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re delighted that Chloe, Ben, Kai and James 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.”

Leading entrepreneur and adventurer praises Ron Dearing UTC students following inspirational talk

A prominent entrepreneur, adventurer and speaker who led the iconic Porsche, Lamborghini and BMW brands has praised Ron Dearing UTC students for their interest and enthusiasm.

Kevin Gaskell was recognised as one of the UK’s top 40 leaders after driving the turnaround at industry giants Porsche and leading five years of record growth at BMW.

He left to set up his first internationally successful technology business and has subsequently built or transformed 15 companies, now acting as chairman to a number of growing businesses.

Kevin visited Ron Dearing UTC to meet students in all year groups to speak about his journey to the top and share his latest venture. Smarter Britain is an organisation he established with his son, Matt, which aims to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and provide practical advice about how to start a successful business.

It follows a similar approach to an organisation Kevin was involved with in South Africa which helped to create more than 3,000 new businesses. The target for Smarter Britain is to build 1,000 new businesses in 1,000 days in Britain.

Kevin Gaskell speaks to Ron Dearing UTC students.


As well as being hugely successful in the business world, Kevin and Matt are keen adventurers, having completed walks to both the North and South Poles and climbed some of the world’s highest mountains to raise money for cancer research.

They were also part of the five-person crew that recently set a new world record for the fastest ever row across the Atlantic Ocean, which they completed to raise funds to fight plastics in the oceans.

Kevin said: “I speak in a lot of schools and Ron Dearing UTC was a luxury. The students were great, interested, enthusiastic and asked intelligent questions, and everything was so organised.

“The team that Principal, Sarah Pashley, has around her is extraordinary compared with any school I’ve ever been in before. The focus is on actually delivering results and results don’t necessarily mean 10 A* grades at GCSE, but giving students the tools to be successful in whatever that means for them.

“Since the talk, via the teachers, I’ve had emails from students following up and asking for advice, which I will do my best to help them with –  even some of the students’ siblings want to get involved in Smarter Britain.

“This includes involving young people with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). I wanted to plant the seed with the students that you can achieve whatever you want to achieve in this world if you’re prepared to work hard.

“I grew up in a two up, two down in Macclesfield and I want to take down the barriers that people normally put there for themselves.”

During Kevin’s career, his teams have created more than three billion pounds of shareholder value and his companies have won numerous awards. He has also played international cricket and now enjoys playing in a rock band to relax.

Year 12 students Mercy McFarland, left, and Jess MacLachlan, both 16, met Kevin Gaskell.


Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “We’re delighted Kevin took the time to come and speak to our students. They were truly inspired and took a great deal of knowledge and information away with them.

“It’s incredibly important to us that we give our students the best possible opportunities in every area of learning and development, broadening their horizons outside the classroom as well as in school.

“Leaders of Kevin’s calibre show exactly what can be achieved with high aspirations, hard work and determination. He has set a fantastic example for our students.”

Year 12 students Mercy McFarland and Jess MacLachlan, both 16, are part of Ron Dearing UTC’s F1 in Schools Challenge team, a global educational programme that raises awareness of STEM and Formula 1 among students and school children in every region, country and continent.

Jess said: “Kevin told us to have three main points in mind when speaking to an audience and to expand on each one.

“He told us he didn’t think he would do very well in his A-levels but went on to do really well. He worked hard to prove people wrong. It made me realise you can do anything you put your mind to, regardless of what anyone tells you. You can prove people wrong.

“It’s really exciting to have opportunities to meet people like Kevin. Every time someone comes to speak to us in school, they all say different things but they all give the same message – you can do it if you have the drive and determination. It’s really inspiring.”

Mercy said: “Kevin gave us tips and tricks on marketing and how to present yourself when talking to an audience. He was really interesting to talk to and came from a similar background to me.

“I was impressed when he told us how determined he is, how he never gives up and how he has become really successful.”

Apprentices make their mark at global brand business

The world’s fastest-growing and most innovative digital brand management business has taken on two former Ron Dearing UTC apprentices to bolster its growing Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) team.

Sonoco Trident, one of the school’s Major Partners, has given apprenticeship opportunities to seven former students over the past three years and they have all gone on to have successful careers at the company’s headquarters in Kingswood, Hull.

Kelland Sharpe and Thomas Staniforth, both 18, are this year’s CGI Artist Apprentices and are settling into their roles in the office, as well as spending some time working from home due to continued Covid-19 precautions.

Their roles include creating advertising images, graphics and artwork designs for world-leading companies, brands and products, including Reckitt and Nestlé. They will also study at Hull College one day a week, as well as training with a specialist CGI trainer at Sonoco Trident as part of their two-year apprenticeships.

Kelland said: “It was a big aspiration for me to work for Sonoco Trident and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

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.


“We’re going through our training now and four years at Ron Dearing UTC has definitely prepared me for the workplace. The specialisms I studied were perfect for setting me up for this apprenticeship.

“I’m really enjoying it and I hope to work my way up here. An apprenticeship was definitely the right path for me because I can earn while I learn.”

Thomas said: “I love all things digital and Sonoco Trident is the right place for me. It’s a great company to work for.

“We’re creating advertisements using 3D modelling software to give extra depth to the artwork for when it’s used on websites and in other places.

“Ron Dearing UTC is a brilliant school and focuses on how you should learn, respond and act in a workplace. You talk to the teachers as if they are your employers and everything is done to such a high standard. It sets you up for the real world.”

As well as its base in Hull, Sonoco Trident has teams based in Europe, America, Asia and Australia and more than 2,000 of the world’s leading brands trust the business with their brand integrity.

Operations Manager Andy Spencer, who also began his career as an apprentice, said Kelland and Thomas have made great first impressions since joining the business.

He 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.

“The feedback about Kelland and Thomas has been great and I think they’re going to have brilliant careers here. Everyone has different ways of learning and you don’t have to go down the university route.

“They’re learning about the business and their roles. Our CGI team is growing and Kelland and Thomas are very much part of that.”