Monday, 30 November 2015

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Meet and greet for students and staff of new Energy Coast UTC

Staff and students of west Cumbria’s new university technical college came together for the first time as the countdown to opening gets closer.

Energy Coast UTC photo
Teacher Tim Robinson with Ned Lister and son Jack

Most of the 140 students who will start at the Energy Coast UTC, at Lillyhall, attended a meet-and-greet event at neighbouring Energus.

There the students, who will enter either year 10 or year 12 in the new school year, were introduced to most of the teaching staff, given an overview of the college’s expectations and told what they can expect from the college, which is currently under construction.

They were also fitted for their new uniforms, provided by sponsors Morgan Sindall and Arup.

Principal Gary Jones urged the students to make the most of the opportunities provided a the new £10m college.

He said: “I want students who want to challenge themselves. We are a new institution and a new group of people coming together.

“I’m not paying the staff yet but they’re already coming in and doing significant amounts of work. They’re enthusiastic, they’re passionate and they want to make a difference.

“The quality of teaching and learning needs to be outstanding. That the main focus of what we are doing.”

Mr Jones told the incoming students: “I’m a fortunate principal. I have a group of students who have opted to be in my college. You’re aiming to be something different, you represent something significant.

“The building’s great but it’s not the important thing: you guys are the important thing.”

Among the students at the meet and greet was Jordan Bowness, 14, of Dent View, Egremont, who was the first to apply to the college, getting his request in the day after an open day in September.

Currently a pupil of St Benedict’s Catholic High School in Whitehaven, Jordan is interested in becoming an electrician but plans to keep his options open during his four years at the college.

He said: “I was quite surprised and happy to be the first applicant. It’s an honour. It’s going to be good because it will help me to be what I want to be.”

Alex Hodgson, 15, of The Pastures, Egremont, is also at St Benedict’s. He said: “I have done engineering at school and found it interesting and wanted to carry on doing it. This sounded like the best option. I’m going to take this chance and make good use of the new facility.”

The UTC will open in September with 140 students split between years 10 and 12 Its roll will rise over the coming years to 560 in 2018-19.

The technical college will work with partner companies including James Walker & Co and Iggesund to provide students with work-based training and an education designed around industry needs.


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