New “university” set to open in Newham

A new “university” for teenagers is set to open that will teach youngsters vocational skills alongside traditional qualifications, such as GCSE courses.

The London Design and Engineering University Technical College (UTC) in Newham will be one of 13 new-style educational institutions expected to open across the country in September next year, the government announced today.

The UTC, which will educate 14 to 19-year-olds, was proposed by Alpha Building Services Engineering, in Abbey Road, Stratford, and will specialise in teaching pupils about the design and engineering sectors.

The University of East London, which has a campus in Stratford, will sponsor the UTC, which will also work with businesses such as Thames Water and the London Legacy Development Corporation to ensure the curriculum is tailored to satisfy employers’ needs.

Pupils will be able to enjoy work placements with the UTC’s partners to further enhance their skills and give them a taste of the industries they may work in one day.

Five UTCs have already opened their doors to pupils in the UK, and the London Design and Engineering UTC and the other 12 new institutions will join another 27 that are preparing to open. It’s expected 27,500 students nationally will be trained at UTCs.

Schools minister Lord John Nash, who works for Michael Gove at the Department of Education, said: “I am delighted with the very strong field of UTC proposals we are progressing to the next stage.

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“The growing number of top employers and universities involved in UTCs underlines the importance of making rigorous technical education an option for young people.

“It is vitally important that young people have the skills and experience wanted by employers, both for their own prosperity and to help us compete in the global race.”