University Technical College: part of Peterborough’s bright future

It’s an inspiring time to be involved in the technical, engineering and manufacturing sectors in Peterborough, and we just learned from our friends over at The Moment magazine that things are going to get even more exciting, especially for young people. In September 2016, just under a year from now, the Greater Peterborough University Technical College (GPUTC) will open its doors to students for the very first time, welcoming the first tranche of learners who want to specialise in what’s becoming something of a speciality for Peterborough.

The college will be open to children and young adults from ages 14 to 18. Formal qualifications will include the English Baccalaureate and A-Levels, but it’s the real-life teaching that will really add rocket fuel to the students’ future potential – for example, business partner Anglian Water is preparing a module in which participants get to work on supplying water to a south Cambridgeshire village.

Principal Alan McMurdo has described how the spread of these University Technical Colleges – there are now 35 throughout the country, although they all offer tailored learning to suit their local business and environment needs – is making up for the drastic and much-lamented hollowing out of apprenticeship schemes.

‘I meet lots of parents now who say: “Where has this been for the past few years? Why haven’t we had this all along?” They remember technical education, or going to night school to further themselves. Essentially, the UTC movement has come to plug that gap, giving youngsters intellectual challenges and practical, hands-on stuff as well.’

Underpinning all that the UTCs have to offer is their strategic alliance with universities. Alan McMurdo explains,

‘Ours is Anglia Ruskin, and I’m delighted it’s them, because they have a really broad view of technical education and how we can deliver and accredit that at university level. For instance, they have a fantastic engineering faculty, and a great built environment provision. Our students can spend a day at Anglia Ruskin University doing surveying, for example. They can learn the skill, and apply the skills, and although it’s provided by a university it’s totally appropriate for 15- and 16-year-olds. We’re not contriving a university link just for the sake of it.’

 So, Peterborough’s reputation as a hub for technical, engineering and manufacturing expertise is not just widening, it’s deepening, too. Innovations such as the GPUTC are ensuring that a new generation of designers, builders, manufacturers and engineers are ready and confident to join the city’s already world-class workforce. As a recruitment agency that specialises in manufacture and technology, Recruit Mint can’t wait to start working with this new set of eager and well-educated young people.


To read the full interview with Alan McMurdo, visit


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