Our Principal, Marc Doyle, was featured on BBC News last week to discuss the north-south attainment gap. This follows the release of a new report by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) which suggests that pupils in the North of England are on average one GCSE grade behind comparable pupils in the South. The report also highlighted that a lack of skills training is holding back the region’s economy.
The report calls on businesses to mentor schoolchildren; £300M new funding for disadvantaged areas; reform of the Pupil Premium funding mechanism for children from low income families; a new Northern Powerhouse Schools Improvement Board, and a commitment from local firms to provide 900,000 young people with work experience.
The Principal emphasised the work that the Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire has been doing to tackle some of the key concerns highlighted in the report, such as the skills shortage and employability. “Our focus has been on real life projects and closing the skills gap”, Marc Doyle said. “1 in 3 of our students will find employment with companies that they have worked with through the school during school time, and 25% of our students will go on to apprenticeships against the national rate of only 5%.”
The Engineering UTC has been working closely with many different employers such as Cristal and Phillips 66 to ensure students are getting real life work experience and the employability skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Marc Doyle discussed how focusing on aptitude alone is not enough to secure students’ futures. “Education tends to focus on aptitude and end of year exams but we also need to focus on their employability skills. If students and parents are looking for a way into the world of work then UTCs are a great place to be. Success is measured in lots of different ways.”
You can watch the full clip here.