UTC South Durham welcomed His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, to open their new specialist Mechatronics Lab, meet staff, current students and industry partners on Tuesday this week.

The Duke of Kent arrived in County Durham in the morning and his first stop in the region was UTC South Durham to see how the UTC supports young people to prepare themselves for outstanding careers.

UTC South Durham specialises in technical level engineering and advanced manufacturing, for students aged between 14 and 19, and is based in Aycliffe Business Park, the largest business park in the North East.

Students study academic qualifications (GCSEs or A-levels), learn technical skills and spend time with employers to understand the world of work.

Principal, Tom Dower said, “It’s fantastic for us to be host to a member of the royal family and have the opportunity to showcase the region’s students, their abilities and our unique facilities. The focus of the UTC is to help young people get ready for the world of work and find meaningful, technical and academic careers. We receive excellent support from our founding organisations, The University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent, alongside a wide range of local and regional businesses and national employers. We are delighted that our very first cohort are moving onto apprenticeships with these employers or starting great university courses.”

Mechatronics is the combination of electronics engineering and mechanical engineering and many companies are struggling to find well-educated employees in these technical areas. The new Mechatronics Lab houses industry standard equipment. Tom went on to say, “Working in collaboration with businesses in the STEM sector to meet the needs of the industries that surround us is at the heart of what we do here. The UTC has responded to the gap in skills and the demand of students to develop this course. The skills they are developing make our students very employable. We are very proud of what they have achieved in such a short time; their future is bright.”

Applications for Year 10 and Year 12 for academic year 2019/20 are currently open, to apply visit the website: www.utcsouthdurham.org or call us on 01325 430 250 for more information.