Comment

04.09.17

An innovative approach to shaping the student experience

Bill Templeton, head of apprentice development and University Technical College (UTC) lead for Network Rail, as well as a trustee and governor of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University UTC, talks about the new college which specialises in science, technology, maths and engineering.

The Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC is a brand new college near London’s Victoria station. It’s a completely different type of college within the state system offering both technical and academic education for 14-19-year-olds. The college is set up in memory of Sir Simon Milton, London’s visionary public service leader both at Westminster City Council and the GLA. The UTC is co-founded by the University of Westminster and the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and both organisations have a fundamental role in shaping its future development. 

The college opens in September this year with Year 10 and Year 12 students who will gain specialist engineering technical qualifications, GCSEs and A-Levels. Competition for places in this first intake has been strong, with the school being heavily oversubscribed. The principal, Karen Barker, commented: “We are delighted by the quality of student applicants. They include young people with a real passion for science and technology who want to make a difference to the world they live in.” 

This innovative college is unlike ordinary schools or sixth form colleges in that it specialises in science, technology, maths and engineering. Its stunning new premises have been designed to deliver technical education with classrooms kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment. Specialist facilities include two large ground floor workshops where students will have access to industry-standard equipment and materials. ICT classrooms and labs located on each of the other floors will exemplify modern engineering education, developing students’ simulation and modelling skills.  

A significant element of learning is on actual engineering and transport projects provided by the UTC’s unique employer alliance of leading organisations, including Network Rail, Landsec, Alstom, Sir Robert McAlpine, TfL, BT Fleet and Colas Rail. Work-related student projects have been developed with staff from the employer alliance partner companies, with guidance from academic staff at the University of Westminster. This represents an opportunity for students to follow a technical, skills-based curriculum, learning through real projects and with the active involvement of industry professionals, which will improve their employment prospects.               

The business environment will shape the student experience, with the school day starting at 08:30 each weekday through to 17:00, within a 40-week study year. Rather than wearing a uniform, students will wear business attire’. 

Opportunities for UTC leavers are generally excellent: 97% go to university, into work or take on a higher-level apprenticeship. The range of employment and study opportunities for those leaving the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC will be extensive, with practical careers-oriented guidance supported by employer partners. The University of Westminster will provide degree-level opportunities for those wishing to go on to higher education, City of Westminster College will provide HNC/HND and Foundation Degree options for the further development of vocational skills, and progression opportunities will include apprenticeships with employer partner organisations. 

Over 130,000 new jobs in London in the next 20 years will require engineering technicians and project managers with the aptitude to think independently, use newer technologies and work in multidisciplinary teams. In Network Rail, we estimate that our depots within a 40-mile radius of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC will need more than 160 skilled maintenance technicians each year to deliver the next stages of our ambitious Railway Upgrade Plan. 

These technicians will make a vital contribution to the development of the digital railway in the UK over the coming years, and offer fantastic career opportunities for young people in London and the south east.

The countdown is on to get your entries in for this year’s UKRIA. Closing date is 25 September. ENTER NOW!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Year with brand-new infrastructrure to... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >