Students at UTC Swindon celebrate securing top engineering apprenticeships

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Future engineers earn while they learn as they take the next step in their careers

Students at UTC Swindon have got their feet firmly on the path to their future careers as they celebrate securing apprenticeships with top employers in the region. After receiving their examination results in August, the students will get the opportunity to learn and earn as they put their skills into practice in the workplace with companies such as Batten & Allen, Fundamentals and Diamond Light Source.

UTC Swindon’s industry partnerships help prepare its students to apply for apprenticeships, as Principal Jon Oliver explains: “Working closely with partners in the engineering sector means that we have a thorough understanding of the skills and characteristics that employers are looking for. Our students meet current apprentices and talk to them about the realities of the workplace and the opportunities for progression. This means that they are fully informed when it comes to the application process, putting them ahead of strong competition for these sought-after roles. We’re delighted with the range and quality of apprenticeships that our students have secured this year.”

Industry partner Batten & Allen, world leading specialists in precision stamping, will benefit first hand from its links with the college when Year 13 students Ben Upton and Kyle Connelly start their apprenticeships in September. Vince Badminton, Senior Manufacturing Manager at Batten & Allen commented: “We have been very impressed with Ben and Kyle throughout the application process. They have shown excellent technical skills and understanding of our business, alongside great enthusiasm. They are a credit to UTC Swindon and we look forward to welcoming them to the Batten & Allen family in September.”

Ben and Kyle, who have both studied BTEC Level 3 in Engineering, are already ahead of the competition because the skills they have gained at UTC Swindon mean they have already reached the standard of a first year apprentice. They will now undertake a three year programme as apprentice toolmakers.

Year 11 student Finley Belcher has earned a place on the prestigious Diamond Light Source apprenticeship programme. Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron, which works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines to viruses and vaccines. Finley will spend a year at the Oxford Advanced Skills training centre at Culham Science park, before working through placements within Diamond and across the wider Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) site. He may even get the chance to take a placement at the European Nuclear Research facility (CERN) in Geneva.

Year 13 student Lauryn Bailey will embark on a two year apprenticeship as an IT/Engineering Technician with leading experts in grid control, Fundamentals Ltd. After studying BTEC Level 3 in Engineering plus BTEC Level 3 ICT at UTC Swindon, and being leader of the School Council, Lauryn’s looking forward to putting her skills into practice in the workplace.

Jon Oliver congratulates the students on their achievements: “All of our students have worked hard to gain the skills that make them stand out to future employers. We are delighted that they will now be embarking on fulfilling careers with excellent prospects for progression. We wish them every success.”

In June, UTC Swindon will launch its new Fujitsu Innovation Hub, which will enhance students’ digital learning. Sixth Form Students will now be able to follow separate pathways in digital and computing technologies, as well as engineering, or they may pursue a combination of the two.  The new courses that will be available include the Level 3 Technical Award in Cyber Security & industry standard Microsoft Technology Associate qualifications, with units including IT infrastructure, database and developer.

Jon Oliver continues: “The new Fujitsu Innovation hub and new courses available will increase the options for students who want to gain highly relevant and sought after qualifications in digital and computing technologies.”

Over the last 3 years, a quarter of Year 13 UTC leavers went on to start apprenticeships and last year 37% of those apprenticeships were at a higher or degree level.  This is more than six times the national average.