Date of release: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
His Royal Highness, The Duke of York KG, joined Lord Baker, staff, students, employer partners and local businesses on Tuesday (1 March) for the official opening of Medway University Technical College (UTC) in Kent.
The state-of-the-art University Technical College, sponsored by the University of Greenwich, is the first of its kind in Medway and specialises in teaching construction, engineering and design subjects to students aged between 14 and 19. The university's Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Maguire, was among those meeting the Duke of York during the opening.
Students told the Duke about some of the 'hands-on' projects they've been working on during their first term.
After his tour, the Duke said: "UTCs are an excellent addition to the education that is provided in this country. If we are going to be a prosperous country, it is very important to invest in the skills of our young people.
"The changes in the last 15 years, in terms of technology, mean we are going to have to look at how we educate and how we give young people the skills they are going to need in the 21st century. I believe that the UTC system is one of the better methods of creating these opportunities."
He also praised its achievements so far, saying: "I would like to congratulate Medway UTC for getting off to an excellent start in the short time that you have been in existence. I wish all of the students here every success and hope that this UTC goes from strength to strength."
Dr Karon Buck, Principal of Medway UTC, added: "Having the Duke of York officiate at our formal opening is a real accolade for everyone involved with Medway UTC. Prince Andrew is an advocate of technical education and a supporter of young people who aspire to be successful in engineering, construction and design; I am very grateful that he is giving his time in support of Medway UTC."
The UTC is located on the Chatham Waters regeneration site in Chatham Maritime, close to the university's Medway Campus. Staff and mentors from the university, as well as from leading employers in the region, work alongside the UTC's teachers to help students develop the technical and 'employability' skills that will make them stand out in the engineering, construction and built environment professions.
Course curriculums have been designed in partnership with Delphi Diesel Systems, BAE Systems, BAM Construction and Bouygues UK, among many others, bringing their industry expertise together to give students valuable work-related experience. Programmes during the first term have included designing a cockpit for a fighter jet with BAE Systems, learning about AdBlue Injectors with Delphi Diesel Systems, and visiting a 'real life' building site with RedRow Homes to enhance their studies in construction.
The UTC is recruiting students aged between 14 and 19 for its engineering, construction and design courses in September. The next open event for interested students takes place on Wednesday 23 March, from 6pm. Further information is available at www.medwayutc.co.uk