On Tuesday 20 March, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, formally opened the new Victoria based University Technical College (UTC), saying, “it’s marvelous to be able to celebrate a landmark project which is going to change the lives of young people.”

Around 120 guests attended the event including staff, representatives of the unique Employer Alliance, an alliance of relevant industry partners, members of the local community and many of those who had been involved in the design and development of the state-of-the-art building.

Students and staff were on hand to greet guests and give personal tours of the college, its classrooms, IT and engineering workshops. Additional speeches were given by Chair of Governors, Mrs Elizabeth Phillips; Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, the lead employer partner; Mrs Diane Yeo, Deputy Chair, Court of Governors of the University of Westminster; Mr John Barradell, Chair of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, and Lord Baker, the inspiration behind the UTC concept.

Sir Peter Hendy highlighted the unique collaboration of business and educators which underpins the UTC saying “The industry has a huge crisis in finding enough young and agile minds to keep us working in the 21st century. In Network Rail in the London area alone there are 150 job opportunities each year for people with a real insight into the world of work. This is an opportunity to address long term skill shortages.”

Year 12 students D. Kadiata and G. Belloso-Brun and Year 10 student J. Bekono inspired the audience by praising their teachers as “hardworking and diligent” and said that they were “overwhelmed by how supportive and kind the teachers were and how welcome they made me feel”. One student added “joining the UTC  has opened my eyes to the opportunities in engineering”.

Like all UTCs, Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC focuses on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) with a strong emphasis on the practical applications of learning and readying students for life in the workplace. It was co-founded by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, the University of Westminster and Network Rail. It is supported by Westminster City Council.

Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC specialises in Transport Engineering, and Construction and the Built Environment. It provides its students with hands-on workplace experience through collaboration with a unique Employer Alliance of relevant industry partners, including Network Rail, Landsec, Sir Robert McAlpine, Alstom, Colas Rail, BT Fleet Solutions and Transport for London. Each partner designs and delivers business challenges per half term, enabling students to complement their studies with practical applications.

Find out more about the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College.

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