More UTCs given government backing

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Thirteen University Technical Colleges (UTCs) have been given the go ahead across England in a bid to improve skills in key industry areas.

The colleges, backed by more than 140 employers and universities, will teach GCSEs alongside vocational subjects.

Catering for 14 to 19-year-olds they are due to open in September 2014, taking the total number of UTCs to 45.

UTCs due to open in September

  • Mulberry UTC in Tower hamlets, London, specialising in healthcare and medical science
  • Tottenham UTC, specialising in science, sport and health
  • London Design and Engineering UTC, in Newham
  • Medway UTC in Chatham, Kent, specialising in engineering and construction
  • Cleantech UTC in Newhaven, East Sussex, specialising in environmental and marine engineering
  • Watford UTC in Hertfordshire, specialising in computer science, hospitality and tourism
  • Science UTC, in Oxfordshire, specialising in research, engineering and computing
  • South Devon UTC, specialising in engineering and science
  • South Wiltshire UTC, in Salisbury, specialising in science and engineering for defence industries
  • Burton and South Derbyshire UTC, specialising in biomedical science and engineering
  • Health Futures UTC , in Sandwell, West Midlands, specialising in healthcare and health science
  • Derby manufacturing UTC, specialising in engineering and manufacturing
  • North East Greater Manchester UTC, specialising in sustainable engineering and construction

School Minister Lord Nash said the colleges would help the UK "compete in the global race".

Lord Baker, former education secretary and chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust has promoted the introduction of UTCs.

He said they were designed to "fill the skills gap in the UK by providing high quality training for technicians and engineers".

The new UTCs will specialise in areas including digital technology, engineering, healthcare, science, tourism and hospitality.

All are sponsored by local universities and many name big employers among their partners.

Rolls Royce and Toyota Motor Manufacturing are among the backers involved in a new Derby UTC specialising in engineering and manufacturing.

Many of the new colleges focus on areas of engineering, ranging from environmental and marine, to construction.

They will have the same powers as free schools and academies to set curriculums and manage budgets.

The first UTC was launched by JCB in 2010, followed by the Black Country UTC in Walsall a year later.

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