Professors Alison Halstead and Ed Sweeney represented Aston at the recent University Technical College (UTC) Stakeholder Forum at Magna Park near Lutterworth. Magna Park is Europe’s largest and most technologically advanced logistics park and is home to companies such as Toyota, Asda, DHL and John Lewis. As part of the parks expansion, the intention is to develop a UTC on the site to address the technical skills shortage in the logistics and supply chain areas.
The Stakeholder Forum was hosted by the Baker Dearing Education Trust; Lord Baker of Dorking is one of the founding members and the Chairman of the Trust. Lord Baker was Secretary of State for Education and Science 1986-89; the other founding member is Lord Dearing who was Chairman and Chief Executive of the Post Office Ltd. The Baker Dearing Trust focuses on supporting UTCs in collaboration with Universities and other organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Network Rail and Microsoft.
University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are a new concept in education. They offer 14-18 year olds the opportunity to take a highly regarded, technically-oriented course of study at a specialist college equipped to the highest standards. UTCs are sponsored by a university and employers, sometimes in partnership with a college of further education, and offer clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in work.
Aston University boasts exceptionally high employment rates due to high quality of its courses and teaching, and the identification of the need for skills in the area of logistics.