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Jack Jevons

Building update from building contractors ISG – Week 15

The first of the two precast concrete stair and lift cores have now been completed and work is well under way on the second of the precast cast stair cores which will form the main stairway to the upper floors of the UTC building.

A large 200 Ton crane has been set up on site to lift the larger sections that form the second stair core. The next stage will see structural steel plates being welded to the pre-fitted components   within the concrete sections, which create the final connection points for the eagerly awaited steel frame. This phase of work will be completed by the middle of next week enabling the structural steel frame to then be erected.


Week 15

Building update from building contractors ISG – Week 14

The erection of the stair and lift cores and the installation of the connecting precast concrete stairway has continued this week. The first of the two stair cores and lift shafts are up to the fifth floor and the capping slabs which will complete this section of work are on site and  ready to be lifted into position on Monday following the delivery and set up of a larger crane 200Ton.

Week 14

UTC Champion Lord Baker Visits University Technical College Warrington

We received a visit this week from former Conservative Education Secretary and UTC champion Lord Baker as he attended the site of Warrington’s new University Technical College on Dallam Lane in Warrington town centre.

Lord Baker presents to employers

As co-founder and Chairman of the Baker Dearing Trust, (an educational trust that was set up in 2009 to promote the establishment of University Technical Colleges in England), the purpose of Lord Baker’s visit was two-fold; to see Warrington’s new cutting edge educational institution, that when it opens to students in September 2016 will specialise in engineering and energy, and secondly to meet and present to a number of the UTC’s employment partners and prospective students.

During his visit Lord Baker met with the UTC’s employment partners, including representatives from Sellafield Ltd, Manchester Metropolitan University, Atkins, Nuvia, Tenet Consultants, Warrington & Co, Flamefast, National Nuclear Laboratories, National Decommissioning Authority and ISG.

Lord Baker meets Steve Park from Warrington & Co and John Patterson from Sellafield Ltd

Lord Baker meets Steve Park from Warrington & Co and John Patterson from Sellafield Ltd

Lord Baker then took part in an open discussion with the employment partners about the benefits and opportunities that UTCs can provide to students in preparing them for the world of work and in working towards achieving productive careers. This was then followed by a meet and greet session with a small number of prospective students.

Of his meeting with Lord Baker, Year 9 student Christopher Hankey said “Lord Baker is really inspirational, he has worked with so many really important people throughout his career. He explained why it was a good choice to make, and how going to the UTC will be important for us later in life because of how the world around us and technology is advancing so quickly.”

Whilst Year 9 student Georgia Bowker said” Meeting Lord Baker was an amazing opportunity.  It really gave me an insight into everything the UTC offers, it was also really interesting to hear about the successful previous UTC students”.

With the launch of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust Lord Baker pioneered the idea of “career colleges” that would provide technical education for 14 – 19 years, enabling them to access training and educational in a wide range of subjects including construction, healthcare, catering with many UTCs, such as Warrington, specialising in the “STEM” core subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Construction of the new £10 million, 620-place UTCW began in July 2015 following the approval in March from parliamentary Under-Secretary, Lord Nash. Located in the heart of Warrington within the Stadium Quarter, UTCW will have excellent access to rail and bus networks. Completion of the build is scheduled for the summer of 2016.

UTCW is sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University and local employers. UTCW will specialise in energy and engineering and will offer an outstanding opportunity for the young people of Warrington and the wider region to work with major energy and engineering employers based in the town, including Sellafield Ltd, Amec Foster Wheeler, Tenet Consultants, Nuvia, Atkins, National Nuclear Laboratories and Flamefast.

Lord Baker meets Cllr Terry O'Neill

Lord Baker meets Cllr Terry O’Neill

The aim of UTCW is to integrate technical, practical and academic learning and create an environment where students can thrive and develop the abilities that industry needs. As international, national, regional and local employers, the industrial sponsors will play a major role, helping to shape the curriculum and relate it to future jobs that match the needs of the local economy.  In turn, students will acquire the skills and knowledge that are in demand from employers along with having access to the latest equipment and technology used in industry.

Speaking about his visit to University Technical College Warrington Lord Baker said: “This was a wonderful opportunity to visit the UTC Warrington site. Next time I visit I am looking forward to seeing the completed facility and meeting the students. UTC’s prepare the students for work, teaching skills that mix the brain and the hand. Students leave work ready. Of the 1700 students in the UK who graduated this year 99 – 100% have now found employment”.

UTCs are a relatively new concept in education, offering a safe, high quality, technically-orientated curriculum for 14-19 year olds in an environment where young people are encouraged to follow their interests and to develop them into engineering-related skills and qualifications.  At least 40% of the time spent by students at UTCW will be dedicated to the technical specialisms of energy and engineering including design and building, working in teams and problem solving.

Principal and Chief Executive of UTCW, Lee Barber said: “Today’s visit from Lord Baker to University Technical College Warrington has been invaluable as we have heard how UTC’s are already impacting the lives of young people across the country. As a champion of the UTC concept Lord Baker outlined the importance of learning skills in technical subjects to provide young people with a greater confidence in finding employment after education.”

Cllr Terry O'Neill, Principal and Chief Executive Lee Barber and Lord Baker

Cllr Terry O’Neill, Principal and Chief Executive Lee Barber and Lord Baker

UTCW will offer its students clear progression routes into higher education, apprenticeships or full time employment. By working closely with local employers UTCW will offer students, as part of their studies, regular opportunities to connect with local businesses through work experience, technical projects and masterclasses.

The UTC will be a key component in the regeneration and renaissance of Warrington’s town centre. The facility will be situated at the heart of Warrington’s ambitious Stadium Quarter regeneration project; a £190 million mixed use development comprising educational, office, leisure and residential uses.

On the construction site at UTC Warrington

On the construction site at UTC Warrington

Building update from building contractors ISG – Week 13

The 150 tonne crane and the first of the precast concrete stair cores, stairs and lift shaft sections arrived on site early Monday morning as expected. However, the first of this seasons storms named ‘Abigail’ has delayed some of the lifts due to the wind speeds.

Wednesday and Thursday’s improved weather conditions allowed our lifting operations to commence and by Thursday afternoon 3 stair core sections, 2 shaft lift sections and 2 flights of concrete stairs had been erected.


ISG Week 13

Building links with China

Confucius InstituteHere at UTC Warrington we recognise the importance of familiarising our students with Chinese cultural and linguistic practice. As a college specialising in engineering we know that many of our students will be required to work closely with organisations in the Far East as they move forward in their engineering careers.

Early on in curriculum planning our employer partners were keen to ensure that Mandarin was included within the curriculum at UTC Warrington, as they can see the benefits not only to students but to their businesses as they look toward the future when UTC Warrington students become part of their own businesses.

Ahead of opening in September 2016 we are building links with the Confucius Institute at Manchester University which will provide our students with some fantastic opportunities to gain an insight into the Chinese culture whilst also learning the language.

By September 2016, through Confucius Institute UTC Warrington will be linked to a number of schools in China, which in time will lead to exchange student opportunities for our students to further develop their cultural knowledge and language skills.

Building Update from building contractors ISG – Week 10

The favourable weather conditions during week 10 have enabled the project to progress significantly. The shuttering to one of the main foundations which was poured last week has now been removed and a further 6 foundations with adjoining ground beams have been excavated, shuttered and reinforced with steel bar. This has meant that over 180 m3 of concrete have been poured over the last 5 days.

The retaining wall along Dallam Lane has also received waterproofing treatment and a worker’s site access tunnel has been erected in order to separate pedestrians and vehicles on site.

Week 10

Engineer your Future Taster Event – October 2015

Following on from the recent success of the University Technical College (UTC) Warrington Launch Event in September, the October Taster Event held at The Centre on Birchwood Business Park on Thursday 22nd October once again proved extremely popular with both parents and students.

L J Create   Sellafield Ltd

Parents were given an update on the latest project developments by Principal & Chief Executive, Lee Barber alongside an employer’s perspective on the college from Operations Director at Tenet Consultants and Project Steering Group Chair, Aidan McManus. Meanwhile prospective students took part in workshops arranged by staff from several of the college’s employer partners, including: Amec Foster Wheeler, Atkins, L J Create, Manchester Metropolitan University and Sellafield Ltd.

Atkins Sellafield Ltd 2

Students were split into groups, with each group working on a different project with their employer partner. Prospective Year 12 students working with John McCann, Principal Lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University, School of Engineering were given an insight into how engineering has a key part to play within sport followed by a group electronics task.

Meanwhile, prospective Year 10 students working with Rob Rowland and Mike Roberts from Atkins Nuclear where set a number of challenges to solve during their workshop session. One of which required the students to work together and guide each other on a project which simulated moving a nuclear rod from one area to another. The task relied heavily on communication skills as the operator was blind folded and had to listen to their team members to make it safely across without dropping their ‘nuclear rod’.

Of the workshop, 13 year old Sam from Westbrook said “Working with Atkins Nuclear at the UTC Taster Event was really fun. I enjoyed working on the different tasks we were set, especially when we were blindfolded and moved nuclear rods from one box to the other.”

Atkins 2

Other workshops included Sellafield Ltd’s session on creating a structure that could withstand an earthquake using ‘Shake Tables’ created by some of their current apprenticeship students; a virtual world exercise with L J Create, which challenged students to make their island run on green energy, with the most cost effective solution and a nuclear power station task hosted by Amec Foster Wheeler.

Employers were asked to select one participant from their workshop group to win a prize for their contributions during the workshop session. Iain and Tim working with the L J Create team couldn’t separate students Cerys and Brandon in their group and decided that they would award the prize based on who gave the best presentation at the end. But both Cerys and Brandon did a fantastic job and as a result were both awarded a prize on the night along with winners from all of the workshops.

All of the groups presented back to the audience on what they had done in each of their workshops, with some students taking the lead for their whole group and others sharing the presentation between them. Many parents commented afterwards how impressed they were that their son/daughter had stood up and presented to such a large audience. Parent, Sarah-Jane Cleverly said “I couldn’t believe it when Jamie stood up at the front of the auditorium, let alone explained what he had been doing. I felt extremely proud of him and his team.”

The team to win the overall prize of best workshop was headed up by John Royle and his team of apprentices from Amec Foster Wheeler. Students studied a schematic diagram of a nuclear power station, before having to work together to bring to life a presentation on how a nuclear power station works. The interactive demonstration encouraged all of the students in the group to work together. Each student in the group won a UTC Warrington goody bag to take home.

Winners   Amec Foster Wheeler

If you are interested in finding out more about applying to become a UTC Warrington student then why not come along to our next event on Thursday 19th November, 5.30pm – 8.00pm, at The Pyramid, Warrington. You can find out more information and register for your workshop place at

Alternatively visit for further details about the University Technical College.

Applications are welcome until 29th February 2016, however all applications received before the 30th November will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad.

You can apply online here or click here to download a copy of the application form.



Building Update from building contractors ISG – Week 9

Construction of the sub-structure for the steel framed building is now well underway. Over 100 CFA piles have been bored and 12 pile caps are ready for the delivery and erection of the steel.

During week 9 the shuttering to the fairface concrete retaining wall along the east elevation has been struck and hardcore has been laid along the wall to create a lay by area for the articulated lorries. However, this week we have concentrated on the foundation reinforcement, placing of the formwork for the future prefabricated stair and lift core.

Week 9

Parents who have children studying at UTCs feel more positive about their child’s prospects


New research released by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust shows that for two thirds (66%) of parents their biggest fear is that their child will not find a job when they leave education. Nearly half (48.1%) of parents said they felt stressed about their child’s education and 80% of parents believed the education system needed to change to reflect
21st century working Britain.

Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity that promotes University Technical Colleges (UTCs), surveyed over 1000 parents with teenagers at mainstream schools and, in a separate survey, 450 parents whose children attend UTCs.

The research reveals that parents who have children studying at UTCs feel more positive about their children’s prospects. Three quarters (70%) said the UTC has made their child more confident in getting a job and 85% of parents believed the UTC was preparing their child for the world of work. This figure dropped to just 68% when the same question was asked of parents with children at mainstream schools.

Nearly two thirds (64%) of mainstream school parents said they wanted a greater variety of choice in the type of school for their child and 69% said they wanted the option to select a technical education if it reflected their child’s talents.

But parents are confused about the options available to children. Although more than half (55.30%) of parents with children in mainstream schools felt well informed about academies, only 2 in 5 parents (41%) felt informed about University Technical Colleges. However, when UTCs were explained to them 86% of parents said they might consider a UTC for their child if there was one available in their area.

Lord Baker, Chairman of Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity behind UTCs, said:

“These findings highlight the importance parents place on their children’s education and whether it gives them the qualifications and experience they need to secure a job. Although it’s early days, UTCs are playing an important role to ensure children get the education they need for the 21st century workplace. This is valued a great deal by parents and I’m delighted that so many would consider a UTC education for their children.”

A fantastic turnout for the ‘Launch Event’

UTC Warrington

Applications to study at the first University Technical College in Warrington are coming in fast following a huge turnout and a great atmosphere at the official ‘Launch Event’ for University Technical College Warrington on Thursday 17th September.

Specialising in energy and engineering, University Technical College (UTC) Warrington will open in September 2016 as part of the new Stadium Quarter development in Warrington town centre. The £10 million project will be conveniently located just yards away from Warrington Central train station and Warrington Bus Interchange making it easily accessible to students from across the North West. Further information on the curriculum, specialisms and how to apply can be found at

The ‘Launch Event’, held at The Pyramid in Warrington town centre proved so popular prospective students and their families were queuing out of the doors as they waiting for the event to start.

The evening comprised of presentations from newly appointed Principal & Chief Executive – Lee Barber on the curriculum, facilities, culture and opportunities available to prospective students who opt to become students at UTC Warrington.  Meanwhile, more than 15 employer partners of the college were on hand to discuss they types of opportunities available within their businesses for UTC Warrington students and explain how they intend to work with students on technical projects, workshops and masterclasses to help relate what students study in the classroom back to real life experiences.

Employer partners demonstrated some of the technology and equipment that will be made available to students who join including augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics, AutoCAD and a virtual welding machine. Students really enjoyed getting hands on and talking to current apprentices. Meanwhile, parents had the opportunity to speak to key team members from employer partners to gain a real insight into why there is a need for so many more engineers in the UK and how their businesses intend to use the opportunity to work with UTC Warrington as a means of identifying their employees of the future.

At the event Principal & Chief Executive, Lee Barber said: “I am overwhelmed by the turnout and enthusiasm for UTC Warrington by students, parents and employers alike. Not only do employers have a need for a more highly skilled workforce, but aspirant young people are looking for alternative routes into a career in Engineering or access to Engineering degrees at University. We are pleased to be able to bring together these groups and provide unrivalled facilities and a bespoke curriculum to ensure our students gain the very best, forward thinking education”.

The college will deliver exciting and engaging qualifications to 14-19 year olds, alongside employer partners such as Sellafield Ltd, Amec Foster Wheeler, Rolls-Royce, National Nuclear Laboratories, Atkins, Fircroft Engineering, Kawasaki Robotics and Jungheinrich. Alongside university partner Manchester Metropolitan University.

Commenting on the partnership between Manchester Metropolitan University and UTC Warrington, Professor Philip Wheater, Dean of Faculty and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University, said:

“We are very pleased to be part of UTC Warrington. Our world-class engineering research and teaching complements our partner employers’ expertise to provide first-class opportunities for 14 – 19 year old students. The training and education at UTC Warrington will equip students with the crucial skills needed to tackle the industrial challenges of tomorrow”.

Applications to be part of the September 2016 intake must be made by 29th February 2016. However, students who apply before the 30th November will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad. There are a limited number of places available for 2016, 100 places for Year 10 students, and 120 places for Year 12 students. Young people currently in Year 9 or Year 11 from across Warrington and surrounding areas can apply for a place to start in September 2016.

The next UTC Warrington event is planned for Thursday 22nd October at The Pyramid in Warrington town centre. The event will take a slightly different format as students will have the opportunity to take part in taster workshops in teams with representatives from Sellafield Ltd, Atkins and Kawasaki Robotics. Places at the event are limited, so make sure you visit to book a place as soon as possible.

With construction now underway at the site on Dallam Lane students can look forward to watching their new college take shape over the coming months. The iconic building will be clearly visible from several vantage points across Warrington, especially to anyone travelling into the town on the Central station line or travelling along Midland Way alongside the Golden Square.