UTC Derby Pride Park is crowned a winner in the Derbyshire Business Awards

Tuesday 22nd November 2022

Connor Donson, Principal Building Surveyor, Concertus, which sponsors the Education and Business Partnership Award, with Lee Kirkwood, Principal, UTC Derby Pride Park

Connor Donson, Principal Building Surveyor, Concertus, which sponsors the Education and Business Partnership Award, with Lee Kirkwood, Principal, UTC Derby Pride Park

UTC Derby Pride Park has been crowned a winner in the Derbyshire Business Awards.

The technical school won the Education and Business Partnership Award category, which recognises schools, colleges and further education training providers that engage effectively with business.

Lee Kirkwood, Principal of UTC Derby Pride Park, said: “It is great to receive this recognition. We are proud of our strong links with employers who seek to train and recruit the next generation of talent.”

He added: “Ensuring that our students get the employability and technical skills to succeed in their future careers underpins everything we do.”

Organised by East Midlands Chamber, the Derbyshire Business Awards 2022 comprise 13 categories and celebrate the best in the business community. The winners were announced at a gala dinner on November 11th, 2022.

At the UTC for 13 to 19-year-olds on Locomotive Way, students complete specialist courses designed with employers in engineering or health and life sciences.

These sectors are regional, national and international growth areas of the economy where there is an urgent need for highly skilled young people.

Students gain the skills and qualifications that help to open up opportunities for employment, apprenticeships and higher education.

They study GCSEs and A Levels alongside their chosen technical specialism and learn from industry experts in specialist high tech facilities.

Mutayeb Ali, 16, is one of the students who has stayed on at the UTC sixth form after achieving his GCSEs in the summer.  He said: “I chose the UTC because it specialises in engineering and works with employers. I have really enjoyed the hands-on learning.

“We’ve worked on some interesting projects as part of our coursework which have included designing a home for people with disabilities. My ambition is to go onto an engineering apprenticeship in the armed forces.”

Students work on employer set projects. An engineering example of this is the RR Heat Exchanger project that RR graduates and UTC staff led over a series of weeks with students completing presentations and prototypes for employer scrutiny and feedback.

A health example of an employer project is a care certificate that students complete involving a series of skills and competencies, which is similar to one that healthcare providers undertake. This project is run with the University of Derby and Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

The UTC is supporting the Derbyshire Health and Care Future Workforce group through outreach work with primary schools, raising awareness of careers in the health and care sector where there are staffing shortages.

This summer’s Year 13 UTC students went on to a range of degree courses such as mechanical engineering, mechatronic and robotic engineering and electrical and electronic engineering after completing their A Levels and technical qualifications at the UTC.

The University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham and Manchester Metropolitan University as well as apprenticeships with leading employers such as JCB, WB Power and Alstom were some of the destinations that students progressed to.

Employers supporting the UTC include Alstom, Rolls-Royce, Toyota, the University of Derby and Joined Up Care Derbyshire, which comprises health and social care organisations in the region.

Employers have shaped the curriculum by setting industry projects and providing work experience and placements.