Doncaster to get new university technical college

Lord Agnew

Hundreds of students will be trained to become experts in engineering and digital technology to help deliver the skilled workers local businesses need at a state-of-the art new college in Doncaster announced today.

Doncaster University Technical College will train up to 750 13 to 19-year-olds in the latest rail engineering techniques, as well as coding and 3-D design skills when it opens its doors in September 2020, helping to meet the needs of the local economy.

Plans for the college have been led by the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, working with both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University alongside leading businesses from across South Yorkshire, including Volker Rail and Keepmoat.

Today’s announcement is part of a wider government drive to deliver a world-class technical education system that rivals the best performing countries, giving young people genuine choice about their future and developing the skills that are truly valued by employers.

This announcement follows the recent unveiling of the first 52 colleges and post-16 providers selected to teach new T Levels from 2020 by Education Secretary Damian Hinds. T levels will provide a high-quality, technical alternative to A levels and is part of a £500 million a year programme to ensure people across the country have the skills we need to compete globally.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System Lord Agnew said: “Technology and the world economy are fast-changing, and we need to make sure our young people have the skills they need to get the jobs of tomorrow. There is a clear demand from local businesses for these specialist skills and Doncaster UTC will provide a strong mix of academic and technical-based study that nurtures the talents of all its students.

“I am greatly impressed by the commitment of those who have driven the proposals forward, and work now begins to design an exciting curriculum that will arm pupils with skills that employers need to build a Britain that’s fit for the future.”

As part of the Industrial Strategy, investments are being made in digital and technical education to help generate well paid, highly skilled jobs across the country. Digital sectors contributed £118 billion to the economy in 2015 and it is predicted that within 20 years 90% of all jobs will require some element of digital skills.

The Government is also working with hundreds of industry partners as part of the Year of Engineering to offer a million direct and inspiring experiences of engineering to young people throughout 2018 and help tackle the estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year facing the UK.

Pupils at Doncaster UTC will study core GCSEs and A levels alongside a high-quality technical curriculum that focuses on teaching them key digital and engineering skills, designed with local and national employers. It will join the 49 University Technical Colleges (UTCs) – colleges that specialise in subjects that meet the needs of employers and the economy by integrating academic study with practical learning – already open nationwide.

Doncaster is one of 12 Opportunity Areas, identified by the Government as social mobility ‘coldspots’, which are receiving a share of £72 million to raise aspirations and opportunities for the young people who live there – Doncaster UTC will provide more good places for parents and pupils to choose from. A site for the school will now be finalised at a cost that meets the needs of the curriculum and offers value for money to the taxpayer.

Today’s announcement will transform the educational landscape in Doncaster and across South Yorkshire and the “fantastic news” has been widely welcomed by a number of leading businesses, local politicians and other institutions in the region including both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University.