Construction began on Sheffield's new £8.5m University Technical College (UTC) yesterday as part of a nationwide plan to raise the level of industrial skills in the UK.
The college will become the first UTC in Yorkshire when it is completed in September 2013 and one of only 18 across the UK. The facility will provide specialist vocational learning within the engineering and digital sectors for 600 students aged between 14 and 19, providing work-based learning via an employer-led curriculum.
The three-storey building has been designed by HLM Architects and will include practical learning provision, as well a five-aside size football pitch on the roof to maximise space at its city centre location.
Pam Liversidge OBE, Sheffield’s first female Master Cutler, was there to celebrate construction getting underway and urged local businesses to get behind the centre.
“The UTC and other local initiatives will help to stimulate interest in technology and engineering and give young people the passion for innovation as well as the entrepreneurial spirit, which will be so vital to us in the future,” she added.
The project has been funded by Sheffield City Council, which bought the Porter Brook Site on which the UTC is being built, alongside lead sponsor Sheffield College. The college has also received £9.9m from the Department for Education.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield Council, said: “The UTC helps us to work closely with businesses to ensure that the next generation of workers in Sheffield have the right skills for the job.”
The UTC Academy Trust hopes that more employers will get involved in projects and sponsoring students as the UTC starts to take on a physical form.
Siemens Metals Technologies has signed up to provide advice on taught materials and will assist with procuring and integrating equipment at the college.