A PUBLIC consultation meeting will be held on Tuesday September 3 into a planning application for the South Devon University Technical College in Newton Abbot.
The UTC project champion Adele Dawson explained: “We have been working hard with Stride Treglown architects and BAM construction to come up with a great building design for the South Devon UTC. We are now keen to hear the views of the wider community, who will have the opportunity to look at the architects’ design for the school”.
The public consultation meeting is taking place on Tuesday 3rd September between 5-8pm, at Teignbridge District Council, Old Forde House, Brunel Road
Newton Abbot, TQ12 4XX.
South Devon UTC - the area’s first University Technical College – will offer a new way of learning for up to 600 young people aged 14 to 18. It will be based in Newton Abbot and recruit from across the region including Teignbridge, Torbay, Exeter, Plymouth and the South Hams.
The academy school will have a focus in engineering, water and the environment, reflecting both the natural environment in Devon and the needs of employers in these industries where there is a lack of technicians available. Locally, apprenticeship numbers in science, engineering and manufacturing are half the regional average and nationally the technician deficit is estimated to reach 450,000 by 2020.
Anne Marie Morris, MP for Newton Abbot, said: “I am delighted that South Devon University Technical College is making such good progress. The UTC will help young people gain the skills they need to succeed whilst providing a welcome boost to the local economy and our engineering businesses.”
South West Water’s Operations Director, Dr Stephen Bird, said: “South West Water is excited at the prospect of this new UTC and we see it as playing a key role in helping us develop the flexible, technically able and mobile workforce of the future. Linking in to our already successful apprenticeship scheme and helping to equip our local youngsters with the skills and knowledge they will need to work in our increasingly multi-skilled workforce is a key objective for us as we prepare for the challenges that face the water industry into the future.”
Tony Wiltshire, Director and General Manager of Centrax Turbine Components Ltd, said: "The opportunity to establish a UTC within Teignbridge is an exciting prospect for the businesses and youngsters of the region alike. The UTC will create a local core of highly employable students with solid technical skills. This will allow the diverse mix of businesses in the south west to flourish by supporting innovation and growth of intellectual property, enabling companies to compete in the global market place."
Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Galliford Try, currently undertaking the £150m South Devon Link Road project said: "We are delighted that the UTC has got the go-ahead. As a major employer in the area keen to employ local people we are particularly interested in what the school has to offer and, as a sponsor, to have the opportunity to contribute to courses so that they have relevance to our needs as well as those of those of the region's industry and commerce in general."
The Environment Agency’s Regional Director Richard Cresswell said: “When we are recruiting engineers and scientists we look for knowledge of our industry and an enthusiasm to be involved. We see that the UTC will give students the passion they need to ensure a commitment to their scientific or engineering career with us.”
Matthew Shanks, Executive Headteacher at Coombeshead Academy, said: “A University Technical College within Newton Abbot presents opportunities for the secondary schools to work alongside the partners connected with the UTC, in providing the best possible education for the young people of Newton Abbot.”
David Shephard, Devon Regional Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), also supports the school: “It is essential in today’s economic climate that we encourage school students to take an active role in the economy when they leave school. The University Technical College will provide an excellent vehicle for young people who wish to pursue a career in engineering and science, and has the fullest support from the Federation of Small Businesses, who see this as a unique opportunity to develop a centre of excellence here in Devon.”