Principal's Blog: November 2016

Completing an education at UTC Portsmouth.

I sincerely hope that, whether you join UTC Portsmouth in Year 10 or Year 12 in September 2017, you will be expecting to receive an education that matches your strengths and ambitions. The first sign that this is almost certain to be the case came on 31st October when applications closed for Year 10 students. I am delighted to inform you that the number of applications was overwhelming. It appears that this new and ‘different’ educational opportunity has appealed to so many young people in the region.

taster session Yr 10
taster session Yr 10

During the month of October, it was my privilege to meet many students at our various meetings and taster sessions who have either applied or are seriously considering applying. The interactive event at the BAR (Ben Ainsley Racing) Headquarters confirmed to me that there is a genuine appetite amongst a large group of local young people to learn and apply skills in a STEM-rich environment and to see very clear pathways to exciting careers. I spoke to many students and I was impressed with how so many of them are already very positive, ambitious, skilled, curious and prepared to work very hard.

As you no doubt already know, we have been co-constructing our curriculum with our partners from industry. The more I work with these large employers, the more excited I become on behalf of students joining our college. They all want to be very ‘hands-on’ and the experiences for students will undoubtedly lead to choices of career paths not previously appreciated or even recognised.

Careers in STEM, electrical/mechanical engineering and advanced manufacturing are known to offer excellent progression routes as well as being well paid. Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) graduates can earn nearly 20% more than their peers. The following professions earn an average salary of £39,000 to £45,000: mechanical engineer, academic mathematician, chemical engineer, architect, computer systems developer/software and civil engineer. Of course, these and similar professions provide more specialised roles and leadership opportunities, which often come with six figure salaries.

Taster Session Year 10
Taster Session Year 10

But, earning a good salary comes as a result of being diligent and excited about your work. I believe that careers with strong and natural links to STEM are, by their very nature, exciting. These careers give us the opportunity to solve problems, work in inspiring settings, make a positive difference to the world and use our ideas and creativity. I am certain that UTC students will experience some of this when they join the college and not have to wait until they get their first real jobs.

Lastly, we are holding our last Open Evening for prospective Year 12 students on Wednesday 30th November from 4:30-6:30pm. This will be held at Trafalgar School in Hilsea and I look forward to meeting with more of you. Applications for Year 12 places close on 15th January 2017.

Ciaran O’Dowda

UTC Portsmouth Principal