FIRMS BACK UTC WITH APPRENTICESHIP GUARANTEES

SOME of the region’s leading IT companies are backing a new super-school by guaranteeing apprenticeships for its students.

North East Futures UTC, currently being constructed behind Newcastle’s Central Station, has already stated its intention to provide an industry mentor for every one of its pupils to ensure they have the best start in the school’s specialist areas of digital technology and health science.

Now it has announced Sage and Accenture are among several companies who have agreed to provide a set number of guaranteed apprenticeships to the new school, which will open this September.

“We’re delighted that such prominent businesses want to work with us in giving our students such a real, competitive edge,” explained principal designate Dan Sydes.

Other businesses who have given similar pledges to the school include award-winning digital agency Orange Bus and app developer Hedgehog Lab, who last year were named as one of Europe’s most promising private technology ventures. The arrangements mean that the businesses will work exclusively with NEF UTC, ensuring its students enjoy access to employment opportunities with some of the most successful businesses in the region.

Dan added: “Our new UTC will deliver education grounded in hands-on experience, with opportunities for students to work closely with industry and these guaranteed apprenticeships are further evidence of how close the relationship will be between ourselves and top companies in the IT/digital and health science sectors.

“Parents can see that their children will get real-life experience of their chosen careers while young people will know that an apprenticeship can be a vital step on the way to employment.

“The unique support we have from high-profile industry partners and employers sets us apart from other schools and colleges. They’ve been involved in the establishment of the UTC from the start and continue to help us to develop our curriculum to ensure what we teach our young people is relevant to the workplace.”

In confirming their guarantee for places on their apprentice scheme for the UTC, Hedgehog Lab said it was providing a ‘fantastic opportunity to join a cutting-edge local tech firm specializing in exciting areas such as AR and VR app development.’

Accenture said they had reserved places on their apprenticeship scheme for NEF UTC students who met the firm’s requirements and assessment criteria. “It’s an amazing opportunity for young people from the North East to join a massively successful global firm on one of the best degree apprenticeship programmes available,” a spokesperson said.

An Orange Bus spokesperson said: “We have guaranteed places on our apprentice scheme for North East Future UTC students – it’s an amazing opportunity for young people from the North East to work for a cool and successful local tech firm.”

Sage also confirmed that had reserved places on their apprentice scheme for NEF UTC students who meet the firm’s requirements and assessment criteria.

The school welcomes students who are about to enter their Year 10 and Year 12 studies, giving young teenagers the chance to make a fresh start and embark on their GCSEs at a specialist school, as well as providing an alternative to college or sixth form.

The college is sponsored by the University of Sunderland and supported by companies such as Ubisoft, Sage and Accenture as well as organisations like the NHS.

If you’re interested in your company providing guaranteed apprenticeships to NEF UTC, email Dan Sydes at [email protected]; if you’re interested in a place at the UTC, contact [email protected]

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