Landmark digital and media college to open at MediaCityUK
The Department for Education announced on Tuesday that they will be supporting the development of a new University Technical College at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays. This landmark UTC will work directly with some of the most prestigious names in the digital and media industry to revolutionise the way young people develop crucial skills and pathways to jobs.
The MediaCityUK UTC is amongst 15 new UTCs that will be developed across the country – all specialising in different areas. The University Technical College is a new concept in education offering 14 to 19 year olds the opportunity to take a highly-regarded, full time, technically-orientated course of study. They are equipped to the highest standard, sponsored by a University and offer clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in work including apprenticeships.
The MediaCityUK UTC has come about through a comprehensive network of partners across education and industry – led by The Aldridge Foundation, The University of Salford, Salford City College and The Lowry. The UTC will specialise in creative and digital industries as well as developing an entrepreneurial mindset amongst students.
One of the key things that will make the UTC model special is the direct link with industry, giving students the change to work with partners in MediaCityUK. Partners on the project include BBC, ITV and Adobe Systems Inc.
Sir Rod Aldridge OBE, Chairman of The Aldridge Foundation said: “The MediaCityUK UTC will provide outstanding opportunities for young people to develop skills in the creative industries, an area of huge opportunity in our region. It will also allow employers to influence and shape education delivery to ensure that there is a developing talent pool in the region with the skills and aptitudes that the sector needs.”
The MediaCityUK UTC will become part of the £650m MediaCityUK development on Salford Quays, which has seen some of the biggest names in media, including the BBC, arrive in the area. The Lowry was one of the first regeneration projects on Salford Quays and it has seen the area develop into one of the most vibrant cultural and media destinations in the world. Its Chief Executive, Julia Fawcett OBE, believes that that the developments in the area provide the perfect springboard to create a new generation of creative professionals in Salford.
She said: "MediaCityUK UTC will be fundamental to inspiring local young people and enabling new creative and digital industries to flourish in the region. The UTC will ensure students can connect to the opportunities growth brings - linking these new industries to the local community. It will provide outstanding opportunities for young people from the Greater Manchester area to become highly successful creative industries entrepreneurs in the MediaCityUK hub and beyond, helping to drive the UK’s future economic prosperity.”
The MediaCityUK UTC Curriculum will be developed to respond to employer demand, drawing from the skills of partners across the area. It will provide a new opportunity for young people from Salford and the wider North West area, with intake growing over the course of the next eight years to take 720 students by 2020.
The UTC has been sponsored by the University of Salford and its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, believes this model is a significant development in generating skills for the industry.
He said: "The University believes that the employer-led model proposed for a UTC at MediaCityUK will significantly enhance the pool of talent needed to support the rapid growth of this industry throughout the region and beyond."
Also partnering on the project are Salford City College, and their Principal and Chief Executive, Martin Sim, is incredibly positive about the potential of the MediaCityUK UTC development.
He said: "The UTC will offer exciting and outstanding learning opportunities for Salford young people to develop their skills and obtain the qualifications they need in order to be considered for job opportunities being created in the creative and media field."