South Wiltshire UTC opened its doors to prospective students last week

More than 150 people attended the event where they met the new Principal, employers linked to the UTC, and had a tour of the facilities.

In his welcome speech to students and their parents, Principal Joe Mulligan said,” I describe a UTC as being a big school, somewhere between school and a college, it’s a calmer and more grown-up environment. With our fantastic facilities, specialist equipment, experienced teaching staff, and links with employers, we are inspiring the scientists and engineers of the future.”

Local company, QinetiQ, based at Boscombe Down, has had strong links with the South Wiltshire UTC from the start. They offer work experience and apprenticeships to students.

“The young people who come out of this UTC are first rate,” said Doug Gale, Director Strategic Engagement (Air).

Students also get experience with the Royal Navy who hold events at HMS Collingwood and HMS Bristol. Other employers who attended the event last night were DSTL, Roke, Chemring Technology Solutions, Army, MGC, Porton Biopharma and Public Health England. And others, such as Twinings, based in Andover, are hoping to take on apprentices from the UTC.

Dr Jane Shallcross from Public Health England said,” We come to support the UTC and help students who are thinking about the UTC and about their long term career prospects and planning.”

Aidan Tout, Project Manager for Roke said, “We are really excited about our link with the UTC and we are very pleased to be part of this open event.”

Principal, Joe Mulligan, emphasised that the support they get from the employers is fantastic. “They can’t do enough for us,” he said. “They support us in the curriculum, industry projects, employability skills and mock interviews, as well as offering our students work experience and apprenticeships.”

Meeting the employers was a highlight for 16 year old Anna Stainer who went along to the open evening. She is interested in studying engineering and mechanics. Itti Khanchanakub, who is 13 years old, said he was there to find out about studying computers and engineering.

“We definitely offer a unique alternative to other education providers in the region. Progression into specialist areas from UTCs is excellent, whether into employment or continuing education,” said Principal, Joe Mulligan.