Work on Health Sciences UTC to start

Work on a new University Technical College (UTC) aimed at giving young people the necessary skills for a career in healthcare is due to start

The Health Futures UTC is being sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton, the West Midlands Ambulance Service, the Midcounties Co-operative Pharmacy, with 23 employer and educational partners including NHS Foundation Trusts in the Black Country and Birmingham.

Aimed at 14-19 year-olds it will have a strong focus on science but cover a range of traditional subjects at GSCE and A-Level as well as practical and technical qualifications with a view to providing skills for a career in the NHS or health science and pharmaceutical industries.

The new UTC, which was approved by the Government last year, will be built in High Street, West Bromwich on the former site of Sandwell College and serve 600 pupils and have 60 staff.

It will feature science laboratories, simulation and skills units, a mock hospital ward, a visualisation centre, IT suites, class and seminar rooms, café and a rooftop games area and gym.

The £10m project will be built by BAM Construction and the project is set to be delivered so it can open its doors in September 2015.

A key feature of what the UTC will offer will be the opportunities provided by partners and employers. Students will be involved in employer-led technical challenges and be regularly tested through real-life scenarios, interactive study and the use of simulation technology.

There will also be a big focus on giving students practical skills and experience through community based projects and extra-curricular activities

Professor Linda Lang, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing and UTC project chair, said: “The UTC will be among the first in the country to focus on the health sector and we’re very proud to be working together with so many partners from front line health services to deliver what will be an innovative curriculum.

“The Health Futures UTC will provide students with the skills to take them onto the path to a career in healthcare gained by working closely with employers.

“There is a real shortage of young people with the right skills, professionalism and aspiration that the sector requires and what we will offer will provide students from an early age with the academic and technical skills as well as embedding the key attributes of compassion and care.

“This next stage in the development of the UTC shows our commitment to be a leading light in the provision of healthcare education in the West Midlands.”

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