On Tuesday 12th March, Lord Baker, one of the founder members of the Baker Dearing Trust, visited the Energy Coast UTC on his third visit to the school since it was first opened.
Lord Baker spoke at great length with the Energy Coast UTC’s Principal Cherry Tingle; the Chair of the Board of Governors, Barbara Stephens OBE; and the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors and Head of Education and Skills at Sellafield, Dr Donna Connor, about how well the school is progressing and how the school will be able to develop in the future. He also spoke with two directors of Morgan Sindall, Simon Smith, Managing Director of Infrastructure, and Andy Crowder, Strategic Development Director. Morgan Sindall is the platinum partner of Energy Coast UTC and supports the school in a myriad of ways, including financially and through working with the students to give them real world experience of engineering.
During his tour of the UTC facilities, Lord Baker made time to speak with as many students as he could, visiting students in several different classes, where he lauded them all as being very courageous for deciding to leave their old schools and take a big step towards their future careers in engineering. Lord Baker was also very impressed that so many students knew where they wanted to go in the future, with students knowing how Energy Coast UTC could help them on their way to their desired careers.
Many students also spoke to Lord Baker about how much they had gained from the UTC, including how they have made positive connections to future employers, have been gaining a specialised education that they can’t get elsewhere in the county and even how they are happier that they are being treated in a more mature manner by teachers and staff.
Lord Baker has previously praised Energy Coast UTC on how many of the students go on to apprenticeships, even speaking about it directly in the House of Lords.
“88% of [Energy Coast UTC’s] leavers go on to high quality apprenticeships offered by the outstanding employers in the region engaged in the vital nuclear Energy Coast UTC… Employers want them because they have handled metal, they have designed things, they have solved problems, and they have experience of all those things which no longer happen in normal schools… This UTC is an excellent example of the sort of technical school that I envisaged when I started the programme 10 years ago.” – The Rt Hon. the Lord Baker of Dorking CH speaking in the House of Lords in 2017.
Since then, Energy Coast UTC has averaged above 80% of its students going into high level apprenticeships and the remaining 20% going on to higher education and work. The average percentage of students going on to apprenticeships in Cumbria is only 6%, over 12 times lower than that of the UTC.