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RB and Smith & Nephew join industry-leading employer sponsors of Ron Dearing UTC

Two world-class companies who are among Hull’s biggest employers today (April 20) joined the line-up of industry-leading businesses behind Hull’s new university technical college (UTC).
Backers of the Ron Dearing University Technical College are, from left, Steve Humm of KCOM; Prof Alan Speight from the University of Hull; Dr Bruce Charlesworth of RB; David Stephenson of Smith & Nephew; Finbarr Dowling from Siemens; and Charlie Spencer OBE of Spencer Group, with Principal Designate Sarah Pashley.

Two world-class companies who are among Hull’s biggest employers today (April 20) joined the line-up of industry-leading businesses behind Hull’s new university technical college (UTC).

Consumer health giant RB and global medical technology business Smith & Nephew are the latest employer sponsors of the business-led Ron Dearing UTC.

RB and Smith & Nephew join founding employer sponsors local communications provider KCOM; engineering giant Siemens; specialist engineering business Spencer Group; and lead educational partner the University of Hull as the UTC’s sponsor organisations. In total the sponsors will employ more than 7,000 people locally, once Siemens’ new facilities in Hull are fully operational.

Charlie Spencer OBE, Chair of the Ron Dearing UTC Trust and Executive Chairman of Spencer Group, said:

It’s fantastic to have companies of the calibre of RB and Smith & Nephew joining KCOM, Siemens, Spencer Group and the University of Hull in supporting the UTC.

They are some of the city and region’s largest, most respected and successful employers. Young people who study at the UTC will benefit from the active involvement of companies who are leaders in their industries and are renowned for innovation and excellence.

This is exactly what the UTC is all about – connecting our leading employers with talented young people. These companies can help to provide local young people with really exciting futures within their businesses and with others who need advanced digital and technical skills.

RB, the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, is making a £105m investment in a world-class research and development facility at its site in Hull, where it employs 1,200 people.

The Centre for Scientific Excellence is the largest single investment in the company’s history and underpins RB’s commitment to Hull, which dates back to 1840 when the Reckitt and Sons starch mill was founded on the site the company occupies to this day.

Dr Bruce Charlesworth, RB Research & Development Category Group Director for Health Relief, said:

Many young people today do not have the technical and engineering skills needed to create products and innovations that shape our lives, often due to limited access to educational programmes and training.

As a leading employer in the region, we want to recruit and nurture young world-class scientists, engineers and technicians that will help us build our business, which is why local initiatives and developments like the UTC are so important.

Dr Charlesworth added:

We are committed to supporting programmes that educate young people and help them build the skills that will enable them to have a rewarding career. Working closely with young people not only gives us insight as an employer into the millennial perspective, but also provides our own employees with an opportunity to give back to the community and support local students.

Smith & Nephew was founded in Hull 160 years ago and today its Hessle Road site is the global centre for research and development for the company’s Advanced Wound Management range of products and houses many of its unique, high-tech manufacturing processes. Smith & Nephew remains one of the city’s leading employers with a 1,000-strong local workforce.

David Stephenson, Smith & Nephew Senior Engineering Projects Manager, said:

Smith & Nephew is proud to support the Ron Dearing UTC, which brings greater depth to the education resources on offer in Hull.

As a major employer in the city it is important to us to support young people preparing for a technical career by working alongside these talented students from an early age. The medical devices industry offers many exciting career opportunities and we hope that, through this relationship, graduates will come to understand what Smith & Nephew has to offer when making important choices about their future.

Mr Spencer added:

It’s important to understand that this is not piecemeal engagement. All the employer sponsors are deeply committed to supporting the UTC in its aim to equip the region’s young people with the skills, qualifications and experience they need for local businesses and the local economy to grow.

The placements, mentoring and projects they will provide will be very detailed and structured, to offers maximum benefit to the students and to develop the highly-skilled workforce the employers and other local employers require.

Ron Dearing UTC Principal Designate Sarah Pashley said:

One of the key things that sets this UTC apart is the level of proactive involvement by the employers. They certainly aren’t paying lip service to this – the employers are involved hugely in the whole process.

It all stems from them deciding what knowledge, skill, qualifications and experience the young people need to have. That informs the development of the curriculum, the design of the learning environment and the equipment and resources we will have in place.

The Ron Dearing UTC is due to open in Hull city centre in September 2017 and will ultimately accommodate up to 600 students, aged 14 to 19.

The Ron Dearing UTC is due to open in Hull city centre in September 2017 and will ultimately accommodate up to 600 students, aged 14 to 19.

Named after Hull-born Lord Ron Dearing, an educational reformer who promoted technical and vocational education, the UTC will specialise in digital technology and mechatronics – a combination of computing and engineering – in addition to traditional academic subject such as maths, English and science.

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