Sheffield’s UTC will have wider economic benefits

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Next month will see the opening of Sheffield’s first University Technical College on Shoreham Street.

This UTC will specialise in technical education for 14-19 year olds and will serve as a ‘pre-apprentice’ school. It is one of 24 being introduced in this Parliament.

The benefits are considerable. It has the potential to bring investment and will contribute to the Government’s aim to ensure that our education system supports economic growth, by encouraging vocational training. It will also encourage those who feel disillusioned with traditional academic schooling to stay on in education. This will help to keep potentially disillusioned teenagers optimistic.

Sheffield’s Labour MPs have criticised the Government for failing to keep the Olympic legacy going, by trying to argue that the Don Valley Stadium is to be demolished as a result of ‘government cuts’. Why not ask them what Labour’s economic policy is - most MPs don’t seem to have a clue. So reports of a second UTC specialising in sports and life sciences being set up on the Don Valley Stadium site are good news. I would encourage employers to get behind this bid.

As a Conservative, I’m proud of my party for leading the charge on reforming education. But why not aim higher? 24 new UTCs this Parliament, why not 100 in the next?

Alex Dale

Park Grange Road, Sheffield