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UTC Reading students amongst the most career confident

Students at UTC Reading are among the most career confident young people in the country, a nationwide survey has revealed.

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind the University Technical College (UTC) model in England, completed a survey of 850 students studying at 28 UTCs.

Of the 110 students surveyed at UTC Reading, 94 per cent said they felt confident of getting a job that suits their skills when they leave education.

That figure compares to 86 per cent for UTC students nationwide.

Among the other findings at UTC Reading:

  • 73% feel their employment prospects are better than if they had stayed at a mainstream school

  • 71% said the UTC was better than their previous school for time spent with teachers

  • 78% said the UTC was better than their previous school for opportunities to get a step on the career ladder

  • 92% said the UTC was better than their previous school for links with businesses and employer projects

When asked what they hope to become when they leave education, 30 per cent of UTC Reading respondents said business owner, 26 per cent said chief executive and 24 per cent said inventor.

Joanne Harper, principal of UTC Reading, which became the first UTC in the country to be awarded an outstanding rating by Ofsted in June, said: “Our purpose is to educate and train the next generation of technicians, engineers and industrial innovators who can shape and drive the future of our society.

“These survey results demonstrate that our students share our aspirations for their future and feel confident about forging a successful career that matches their skills and interests.

“The UTC approach is characterised by industry partnerships, which enable students to develop the technical skills required by employers and which offers valuable insights and industry contacts. This provides young people with an unrivalled transition from education into employment, via higher education, apprenticeships or direct employment.”

When it comes to attracting students to a UTC, the national survey showed that facilities and equipment are the most important factor (95 per cent) followed by hands on learning (92 per cent), opportunities for work experience (90 per cent) and the technical specialism (89 per cent).

Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, said: “These findings confirm that students who attend University Technical Colleges are gaining an education that gives them greater confidence in finding a job, one that suits their skills and pays well. Although it is still early days, UTC are already playing an important role in helping to train and nurture a future workforce of highly skilled technicians, scientists and engineers.”

UTC Reading provides a curriculum specialising in computer science and engineering for pupils aged 14 to 19. It is run with the support of lead partners including Activate Learning, University of Reading, Microsoft, Cisco, Peter Brett Associates and Network Rail.

Patrick Hallgate from Network Rail said: "The survey results underline the quality of the education offered by UTC Reading.  Our partnership with the school has been highly productive and we look forward to continuing it for years to come.”

  • Active Learning
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • University of Reading
  • Network Rail
  • Peter Brett