The Rt Hon Lord Kenneth Baker, founder of the University Technical College Programme, visited the WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry last week to meet the first cohort of students.
Accompanied by Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya from WMG, Lord Baker enjoyed a tour of the new school on Friday 24 October and spoke to staff and students.
The Academy, in Mitchell Avenue, opened its doors for the first time in September 2014 to 230 Year 10 and Year 12 pupils.
WMG Academy Principal Kate Tague said: “We were delighted to welcome Lord Baker and Lord Bhattacharyya to the WMG Academy for Young Engineers. They spent all morning touring the new building and talking to our staff and students about their experience and technical education. It was a wonderful way to end our first half term with the drivers of new 14-19 technical colleges both nationally and locally.”
UTCs are a new type of academy, funded by the Department for Education, which offer a combination of academic and technical qualifications that match regional employers’ skills needs and boost young people’s career prospects. The Baker Dearing Trust, an educational trust set up by Lord Baker, has been working to establish a national network of UTCs.
Lord Baker paid tribute to Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya’s contribution to technical education for young people in a House of Lords debate on Thursday 23 October, the day before his visit to WMG Academy for Young Engineers.
Lord Baker said: “Before the noble Lord (Bhattacharyya) sits down, may I give the House an opportunity to recognise the enormous contribution he has made to technical education in our country? Through the Warwick Manufacturing Group, he has driven forward the reputation of Warwick University to become one of the best universities in the world. He has also supported, I am glad to say, the university technical college, opened only last month; and he and I will visit it tomorrow. I thank him for his support because Jaguar now wants a second one. His personal contribution in the whole scale of technical education is quite remarkable.”
Notes to editors:
Lord Baker’s comments on Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya can be found on Hansard here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/141023-0002.htm#14102379000710
L to R: Richard Hutchins from the WMG Academy Trust, Rt Hon Lord Kenneth Baker, Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, WMG Academy Principal Kate Tague and WMG Academy Chair of Governors John Leighfield http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/communications/medialibrary/images/october2014/lord_baker_1.jpg
Rt Hon Lord Kenneth Baker with students from the WMG Academy for Young Engineers
For more information about the WMG Academy for Young Engineers, please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Senior Press and Communications Manager, University of Warwick, 02476 150868, 07824 540863, firstname.lastname@example.org
28th October 2014 KPH