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 3D design skills when it opens its doors in September 2020.

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

The announcement, which came on 18 June, 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.

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.”

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.

Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am absolutely delighted by the Department for Education’s decision to approve Doncaster’s bid to open a University Technical College.

“The UTC will provide exciting new opportunities for the borough’s young people to access outstanding technical education here in Doncaster. By equipping Doncaster’s fantastic young people with the skills and experience they need to thrive in industry, the UTC will play a key role in tackling the long term skills shortages that are apparent in key sectors such as: rail; construction; and engineering. This will ensure that firms in these industries have access to the skilled labour they need to grow and succeed in a competitive global economy; it will also make Doncaster an increasingly attractive destination for inward investors from these sectors.”

Jack Pendle, engineering director at Volker Rail, said: “Having worked with the Doncaster UTC team, we are delighted about the recent announcement confirming UTC approval. At Volker Rail we are passionate about building the next generation rail engineering workforce for Doncaster and will require talented young people with a good grounding in STEM subjects to deliver in the fast emerging digital railway.

“The UTC will be of great benefit; not only to local young people, but the future local economy. We believe the UTC, alongside the National College of High Speed Rail, will provide fantastic opportunities for our young people and we are excited to be taking this project forward with other partners.”

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