Students at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) had their eyes opened to numerous exciting opportunities available to them at a special careers event.
Hull’s pioneering digital technology and engineering school held its second annual Apprenticeships Expo, with students given the chance to meet with a wide range of employers and find out more about apprenticeships and other career opportunities.
The event was again organised by Ron Dearing UTC partner employer, recruitment specialist Emmerson Kitney, and more than a dozen businesses including Spencer Group, Swift, Groupe Atlantic and Sypro.
It gave the sixth form students who are due to leave this summer the inside track on sought-after training roles with many of the area’s best employers.
Spencer Group, one of the school’s Founding Partners, currently has 14 apprentices who joined the Hull-based engineering business from the UTC and four of them attended the expo to talk to students about their own positive experiences.
Engineer Thomas Inglis said: “We brought our own apprentices so the students could relate to them.
“We have an idea of how many apprentices we want to take on this year, but if we find extraordinarily high talent in the group leaving the school, we will take more on. Last year we didn’t intend on taking on 14 but the students were of such a high standard that we decided we would.
“The students here are very talented and enthusiastic.”
Cottingham-based caravan, motorhome and holiday home producer Swift attended again, after taking on four apprentices from Ron Dearing UTC last year.
Richard Monk, Technical Trainer at Swift, said: “We are looking for practical people because it is a very hands-on industry.
“Four of last year’s intake of apprentices were from Ron Dearing, joining us in September. They have been brilliant and are doing really well. The skills they developed at Ron Dearing prepared them really well.”
Software company Sypro, based in Hull, has a customer service support engineer position currently available.
Marketing Manager Olivia Toplass said: “All of our roles tend to have a technical aspect. The position we have available will be supporting our technical customer service and this was a really good option for us to come here.”
Maria Shepherd, HR Advisor Development at Groupe Atlantic, the parent company of Hull-based Ideal Boilers, added: “We want to make sure local talent stays with us and the digital focus here at Ron Dearing really links in with our research and development teams.
“The facilities here are state-of-the-art. They are second to none.”
More than 200 students who will be leaving Ron Dearing UTC in July after the successful completion of their studies attended the event. Students from Year 11 were also given the opportunity to speak to employers, to enable them to start thinking about their next move at an early stage.
Sam Caley, Joint Head of Sixth Form, said it was a fantastic opportunity for the students to find an exciting position as the school aims to repeat its success of last year, when 100% of students who left secured an apprenticeship, other employment or a place at university.
He said: “We’re really focused on the progression routes for our students once they leave.
“We specialise in this area and all the companies represented here know we work with our students to ensure they have excellent employability skills.”
Ron Dearing UTC opened in September 2017 offering a unique education model with a specialist focus on digital technology, creative digital and digital engineering.
Specialist subjects studied at the Kingston Square school, in Hull city centre, include digital technologies, computing, digital media and engineering in a range of disciplines including design, manufacture, electrical and mechanical, systems control and automation.
Tim Watson, of Emmerson Kitney, said: “This event has helped all these businesses connect with local talent, specialising in engineering, technical and digital skills.
“These young people are the future leaders in our region.”
[Rick Lyon – Meehan Media & Comms]