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Ron Dearing UTC boosts opportunities for students by welcoming more business partners



Several of the region’s leading businesses have partnered with Ron Dearing UTC to provide students with industry standard skills and help create their potential future workforces.

Advanced Plastics Ltd and Shipham Valves have become Major Partners of Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC), while CATCH, Northern Powergrid, Ridings Consulting Engineers and Spectrum have become Partners. 

In addition to its Founding Partners, the UTC in Kingston Square, Hull city centre, has many other successful businesses working alongside it as Major Partners and Partners.

These companies help to develop and deliver employer-led projects, offering work experience and apprenticeships and leading the school’s careers information, advice and guidance programme. 

Ron Dearing UTC has welcomed six new business partners. Advanced Plastics Ltd and Shipham Valves have become Major Partners, while CATCH, Northern Powergrid, Ridings Consulting Engineers and Spectrum have become Partners.

Major Partners also play a key role in helping to develop the Ofsted “Outstanding”-rated school’s unique employer-engaged curriculum.

Founded in 1992 and celebrating 30 years in business this year, Advanced Plastics employs almost 250 people at its 65,000 sq ft manufacturing site at Sutton Fields in Hull. It provides a diverse range of technical injection moulded products for blue chip clients across a range of market sectors.

Rob Anderson, Joint Managing Director at Advanced Plastics Ltd, said: “Becoming a Major Partner presents us with an opportunity to develop our talent pipeline to feed our own technical solutions and what better way to do it than supporting the development of local young minds.”

Shipham Valves was founded in Hull in 1798 and is now based in Brough, employing 75 staff. It specialises in the design, development and manufacture of a range of valves used in global industries including onshore and offshore oil and gas, petro chemical and power generation.

The business is taking on four apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC in September and plans to organise hands-on programming sessions, work experience, further apprenticeships and industry standard projects for students to work on in the future.

Managing Director Rob Moulds said: “We want to support Ron Dearing UTC to promote engineering and inspire students at the earliest possible stage, taking on apprentices and enabling them to have the right mindset and values we want to see as a business.”

CATCH is an industry-led partnership supporting the process, energy, engineering and renewable industries in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the Humber, and helps to develop and deliver skills and apprenticeship programmes both regionally and nationally.

James McIntosh, Chief Operating Officer at CATCH, said: “We’re extremely passionate about developing young people and ensuring our region has the right skills to become a hub of industry for years to come. The UTC model of excellent education, facilities and people links to our aims of creating a talent pipeline for apprenticeships.”

Northern Powergrid is responsible for the electricity distribution network that powers everyday life for eight million people across 3.9 million homes and businesses in Yorkshire, northern Lincolnshire and the North East, employing 2,700 people. 

Cathryn Harper, Northern Powergrid’s Regional Customer Service Manager for the Humber, said: “We’re on a mission to find different ways to attract new talent into our industry. This partnership will help inspire more Ron Dearing UTC students, from a diverse range of backgrounds, to be part of our exciting journey to create a greener energy system to power peoples’ lives and our region.”

Business partners of Ron Dearing UTC help to develop and deliver employer-led projects, offer work experience and apprenticeships and lead the school’s careers information, advice and guidance programme.

Hessle-based Ridings Consulting Engineers specialises in building services engineering design solutions for refurbishment and new construction projects. Its 14-strong team works across the commercial, industrial, public and private sectors.

Director Liam Beardshaw said: “We’ve already taken on two apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC and we’re taking on another one or two in September. The long-term goal is to help to shape our potential future workforce even further.”

Spectrum has helped hundreds of organisations manage and improve their business and print processes for over 35 years. The company, with a head office located at Bridgehead business park in Hessle, and a second office based in Newcastle, are always on the lookout for securing new talent and being able to grow it’s thriving workforce. 

Spectrum is looking to offer work placement, apprenticeship and employment opportunities to Ron Dearing students.

Sally Evans, Director of People at Spectrum, said: “We have a huge focus on training and progression, being able to provide our people with opportunities in which to flourish. 

“We want to continue to work with schools, colleges and universities to link up with young people who have a specific interest in what we do. We are proud to partner with Ron Dearing UTC and looking forward to working together.” 

Ron Dearing UTC caters for students aged between 14 and 19, offering a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital, art and design and digital engineering.

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal and Head of Engineering at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome six new Employer Partners on board and continue to build on the success of our employer-led learning model of education.”

Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography.

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