Blog

Helping Sheffield City Region business to grow

July 12, 2016
By Sarah Clark, Principal, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park campus
Helping Sheffield City Region business to grow
To succeed in today’s world, young people have to develop the skills that employers need now as well as those for the careers of tomorrow. Sheffield’s second University Technical College (UTC) for 14 to 19-year-olds will tackle those challenges.
 
The £10 million UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park campus, on Attercliffe Common, is due to open this September and will train students in the skills that Sheffield City Region's businesses need to grow.
 
Students can join us in Year 10 at the age of 14 or in Year 12 at the age of 16. They will study for a technical qualification as well as traditional GCSEs and A Levels. The two technical specialisms of health sciences (healthcare and sports) and computing have been chosen specifically to address local skills shortages and will give students an excellent route into employment or higher education.
 
The campus is being built by BAM Construction and has been designed by Bond Bryan Architects, and has capacity for 600 students with recruitment phased over three years. The recruitment area is Sheffield City Region, which includes South Yorkshire and parts of North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
 
Employers have helped to design the curriculum to ensure it is relevant to industry needs. As a keen scientist, having studied molecular biology and genetics, I know there is a desperate shortage of young people going into those sectors.
 
The healthcare science specialism leads to careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary, pharmacy, physiotherapy, nursing and midwifery and becoming a paramedic. Studying sports science leads to careers working as an elite athlete and becoming a sports scientist or personal trainer.  
 
Completing the computing specialism links to potential future careers as a cyber-security analyst, web developer, computer programmer and games developer. Some course places are still available and you can find out more at http://www.utcsheffield.org.uk or follow us on Twitter @UTCSheffield.
 
Being located on the Olympic Legacy Park provides a unique experience for the students to study adjacent to elite athletes and professional sports people. They will also benefit from the opportunity to be involved with health and wellbeing research and innovations at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre.
 
The UTC’s fantastic cutting edge facilities include a three-dimensional motion capture studio, sports science laboratory, fitness suite, and health and development suite including a flexible ward set up and area for an ambulance, as well as a research laboratory and computer suites. Students will complete industry related projects in addition to work experience and placements.
 
It’s great to see the construction progress being made as well as the enthusiastic support from employers, our sponsors The Sheffield College, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, and other supporters including Sheffield City Council. The four-storey building has been made watertight, and mechanical and electrical installations are almost complete. An external fence is being installed, and trees are being planted.
 
I feel privileged to lead such an exciting new facility that is building on the success of Sheffield’s first UTC - graded ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year. UTC Sheffield City Centre campus, on Matilda Street, specialises in advanced engineering and manufacturing, and the creative and digital industries, and has made remarkable progress since it opened as Yorkshire’s first UTC in 2013.
 
There are approximately 50 employers and other organisations supporting UTC Sheffield overall. They include Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Eagles, DBL Sharks Sheffield, SIV, Sheffield City Council, Goldfish Systems, Yoomee, Mundojumbo, The Better With Data Society, Home Office, Team Active, BirchenhallHowden, Scrapbook Development and Sero Consulting.
 
We are all working together for the benefit of the city and the region to provide the best possible future for the next generation.
 
Pictured: Sarah Clark, Principal of UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park campus with Mr Andrew Coombe, Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, who toured the site last month.