Press release

New UTCs address total lack of technical education in schools

28 March 2013

Today’s announcement from the Government that 13 new University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are set to open will help to address a huge lack of technical education in schools says Europe’s leading engineers’ group.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is calling for the UTCs programme to be speeded up as 1.86 million job openings, requiring engineering skills, are forecast by 2020.   

Dr Tony Whitehead, IET Director of Policy, said: “For too long there has been a huge gap in technical education in the national curriculum. This was made even worse by the Government’s decision to exclude design and technology from the English Baccalaureate.  

“UTCs offer students a technical and engineering focus alongside academic study and will be at the heart of delivering improvements in the economy and supporting the pipeline of future apprentices, technicians and engineers.  

“Our most recent survey of employers showed a desire to recruit new staff, but they are struggling to find the right people with the right skills. Investments in our education system, including these new UTCs, are welcome news but with huge demand for engineering skills, the Government needs to take further actions to ensure the pipeline of future engineers and technicians is sufficient to meet the needs of the economy.”

The 13 new UTCs join 27 that are already preparing to open and five currently open. Together they will provide a new route for around 27,500 students to gain the qualifications and skills necessary to become the engineers and scientists of the future.

Figures from Engineering UK show that the UK needs to double the number of recruits into engineering to meet demand with engineering companies projected to have 2.74 million job openings from 2010 to 2020, 1.86 million of which will call for engineering skills.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespersons.

The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.

For more information, visit www.theiet.org

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