UTC Pipeline Programme is training students for careers with industry leaders

An innovative recruitment programme involving three Southern England University Technical Colleges (UTCs), and industry leaders like Microsoft, Fujitsu, Network Rail and the John Lewis Partnership, will develop the skills that young people need to succeed in the workplace.

The UTCs – Heathrow, Reading and Swindon – are part of the Activate Learning Education Trust (ALET), a leading education group with strong links to business. UTCs provide a technical education as well as core curriculum subjects like maths and English, and differ from secondary schools by working directly with employers to meet evolving industry demands.

Each industry partner will run four recruitment-focussed Pipeline Days this academic year with the UTCs’ Year 12 and 13 students. The programme is designed to develop a talent pipeline through students and employers working together on employability skills workshops, technical briefings and work placements.

By investing this way in the students’ development, employers can recruit more motivated, loyal and highly skilled talent on to apprenticeships or as graduates into their businesses.

The students gain by building their confidence and establishing trust and rapport with a network of industry contacts. They are given a clear line of sight to their career and can start to build the employability and technical skills needed to kick-start successful careers.

Michael Halliday, Business Relations Manager at UTC Reading, UTC Swindon and UTC Heathrow said: “This is a huge effort from our partners to fundamentally change the way recruitment is undertaken, particularly into apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships. Our partners have each committed a minimum of 12 resource days to build relationships with students and to develop the skills needed by industry”.

He continues: “Feedback from the first Pipeline Day has already proved that the model is far more valuable to a student than traditional outreach activities, and this will enable us to refine the format of future Pipeline Days this year with our partners, to support our students in developing clear aspirations for careers within our specialisms”.

ALET is grateful for the support of the following companies in delivering the UTC Pipeline Programme: Microsoft, Network Rail, Peter Brett Associates, Heathrow Airport Limited, Fujitsu, John Lewis Partnership, TfL (Transport for London), Equinix, KBR, Atkins, John Guest, SSE, Costain, NTT Security, Salesforce, Wiltshire Police and Airbyte.