The Royal Greenwich University Technical College has officially opened its doors in a special ceremony conducted by HRH the Duke of York.
The college, set up by Transport for London the Royal Borough of Greenwich and construction company, Wates Group, aims to equip more young people with engineering skills now in short supply for the railway and construction industry.
Says Asif Ahmed, sales director of RailwayPeople.com, who joined Prince Andrew and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, at the event, ‘Everyone acknowledges the need for more skilled engineers in railways.
‘Here we have a fantastic new college aimed at progressing 14- 18-year-olds through stem subjects to give a solid foundation in core engineering, technical, construction and design courses leading to GCSEs, A levels and vocational qualifications.
‘The skills and knowledge supported by apprenticeships, along with on the job training opportunities in industry are vital if we want to attract the next generation of rail engineers to deliver mega projects such as CrossRail, HS2, and beyond. It’s an investment that will reap a real return for our industry and the country as a whole.’
Asif added, ‘Collectively we all need to work together to make Rail the number one career choice for all aspiring engineers. I hope that we see many more similar colleges open around the UK.’
Students at the Royal Greenwich UTC will be working in an environment which has £1.5m worth of industry standard technical equipment to help them develop the skills and techniques they will need for future careers. TfL, Wates Group and Greenwich have helped develop the curriculum and provided industry experts to train and mentor the students.
TfL has also donated a former London Underground carriage to give students hands-on engineering experience within their own school grounds as TfL seeks out the next generation of engineers to continue the upgrade and improvement of London’s transport network.
To give students a further boost, the University of Greenwich has pledged to give an undergraduate place to all applicants from the UTC who meet their entry criteria.
Career and job opportunities
Over £10 million has been invested in the Royal Greenwich UTC campus, with industry- standard facilities including top- of-the-range computer aided design workshops, specialised engineering project zones and a graphics and art studio.
An on-site apprenticeship centre allows students to meet potential employers to discuss their career and job opportunities, and after-school clubs in architecture, robotics and digital animation give students an insight into other careers open to them.
The intake for the 2013/14 academic year was 150 pupils in Year 10 and 150 in Year 12 in September 2013. When it reaches full capacity, the college will accommodate a total of 600 students.