UTC Swindon strengthen employer relations through launch of new innovation hub

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The launch of the new Education Innovation Hub at UTC Swindon took place on Wednesday 27 June 2018, under the Fujitsu Education Ambassador Programme, supported by Intel, Brocade and Kyocera.

The Innovation Hub is the 25th to be opened and is set to form the central piece of an ongoing partnership between UTC Swindon, Fujitsu, Intel, Brocade and Kyocera.

Jon Oliver, Principal at UTC Swindon welcomed sponsors and employers from the local community to the event, while students demonstrated how the hub could be used to enhance their learning.

Ash Merchant, Education Director from Fujitsu, followed this by introducing the hub to attendees. He explained how the facility is equipped with a range of the latest computing technology, and will be used to promote the use of technology and development of digital skills.

He commented, “UTC Swindon is passionate towards digital transformation and the role of digital in supporting its students – and we’re excited to be a part of that with the launch of the Innovation Hub. A recent survey by Fujitsu revealed that around a fifth (22%) of consumers believe that digital education should be part of the modern education curriculum, which points towards a real need to see education establishments focusing on the digital journey. Educational institutions like UTC Swindon will play a crucial role in making this happen – and Fujitsu, supported by our partners, is committed to supporting them in bringing their vision to life.”

Rob Norris, VP EMEIA Head of Enterprise and Cyber Security at Fujitsu, explained how important new technology facilities and programmes, such as the Cyber Security Award that UTC Swindon are offering in September, are so important to local employers. He spoke about how his introduction to UTCs, in Reading earlier this year, opened his eyes to the potential talent that is coming through. He spoke fondly of the opportunities students have at UTCs and urged employers to continue to support their local UTC, creating greater collaboration between industry and education.

After the ribbon cutting, attendees had the opportunity to explore the hub, talk to students about their experiences, as well as take a tour of other facilities at the school.

Paul Holmes, Vice Chair of Governors at UTC Swindon, said, “It is fantastic to see engineering and technology partners investing in the education system. When the UTC was first established, that was the vision; to have the partners fully engaged and provide inspiration, technology and equipment to drive the passion within students.

[Employer partnership] is a fantastic way to help dovetail the specific skills that we teach as part of the UTC Swindon curriculum; helping to align the requirements and demands of the real world, rather than some of the traditional routes, where the teachers set the curriculum and hope students can adapt them to the work place.

This is exactly the reason that UTCs exist – a huge thank you Fujitsu, Intel, Kyocera and Brocade, this is exactly the kind of model we expect to be in place.”