New technical school in Leeds hailed as “huge step forward” for city

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A NEW technical school in Leeds which aims to help produce a new generation of skilled engineers will be officially launched later this week .

Civic and business leaders from Leeds will join former Education Secretary Lord Baker to formally open UTC Leeds.

Principal of University Techinical College Mark Kennedy, watching year 10 Mechatronic students build robots. Pic James Hardisty.

Principal of University Techinical College Mark Kennedy, watching year 10 Mechatronic students build robots. Pic James Hardisty.

University Technical Colleges (UTCs) run vocational courses in particular industry areas alongside traditional GCSEs and A-levels.

They recruit pupils at both 14 and 16 years of age.

UTC Leeds, which opened to pupils last month, specialises in advanced manufacturing and engineering skills.

It is located in a £11m building in Hunslet Road, in South Bank, and is the first school of its kind in the city. Lord Baker is chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust which has developed and promotes the UTC concept.

He will be speaking at a launch event to guests including council leader Judith Blake, MPs and business leaders.

The guests will hear from students about their first few weeks at the UTC and will be given a tour of its facilities.

UTC Leeds is partnered with more than 60 businesses across the Leeds City Region including Siemens, Unilever and Agfa. Leeds University is also a partner.

Mark Kennedy, principal of UTC Leeds said: “We are immensely proud of the facilities here at UTC Leeds. The school offers a first class educational experience and I’m looking forward to showing guests around this unique building. We’ve managed to combine state-of-the-art educational environment with the city’s proud manufacturing heritage and it really is a credit to all involved.”

Coun Blake said: “The opening of UTC Leeds is a huge step forward for the city and the manufacturing sector in the Leeds city region.

“It opens up great career opportunities for young people and will help to bridge the skills gap, which is a major challenge for the sector.”

Applications are now open for Year 10 and Year 12 students starting in September 2017. Students from the Leeds City Region interested in careers in manufacturing and engineering should visit www.utcleeds.com and download the prospectus. The UTC also has a number of open evenings planned before Christmas. Visit the website for more information.