Newton Aycliffe, 5th August, 2014 – Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. today welcomed the announcement by the Department for Education, approving the establishment of a University Technical College (UTC) in South Durham. This will be the first UTC established in the North East and will be tasked with providing a technical and vocational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) focused education to students interested in working in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector.
Sponsored by Hitachi Rail Europe, the University of Sunderland and automotive manufacturer Gestamp Tallent, the UTC is planned to open in 2016 and provisional estimates forecast that it will have an intake of 120 pupils per year. When in full operation the UTC will be able to accommodate between 550 and 600 pupils.
UTCs are modelled on technical schools, providing a mix of academic and technical education. South Durham UTC proposals confirm that it will devote 60% of its curriculum to academic study and 40% to technical study for 14-16-year-olds, while for 16-19-year-olds, the split will be 40% academic study and 60% technical study.
Through the UTC, Hitachi Rail Europe is committed to providing students with a host of learning experiences in the workplace. As an ambassador of the wider Newton Aycliffe Business Park, the train manufacturer will be involved in industry delivery of work experience placements, industrial site visits, equipment contribution, lecturing support, company mentoring, and guaranteed interview experience, amongst other things.
Following the announcement earlier this year that Hitachi Rail is moving its global headquarters to the UK (based in London), South Durham UTC is indicative of the company’s intentions to invest not just in the current rail manufacturing sector, but in its future prospects. By providing technical skills training to students in the region, it is helping the Government and local communities develop engineering skills and capabilities across the sector and provide students themselves with an excellent opportunity to take a career path they enjoy and are interested in.
Keith Jordan, Managing Director for Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Today’s announcement is a significant development for Hitachi Rail Europe and for wider manufacturing in the North East. It reflects the Government’s objectives to support skills development in the region and across the engineering sector, tackling the problems that exist around skills shortages and unfilled vacancies.”
Darren Cumner, Manufacturing Plant Manager for Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Hitachi Rail Europe will help establish the UTC, along with the other co-sponsors Gestamp Tallent and the University of Sunderland, to ensure the students receive the very best education needed to help them into employment or further education. Our vision is that these young people will become the future engineers, technicians and managers at our Hitachi Rail Europe plant in Newton Aycliffe. Given our ambitions for growth, we hope that some will continue to pursue a career within our future UK rail operation, or go on to work in Hitachi’s rail business around the globe.”
About Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.
Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. and is headquartered in London, UK.
Hitachi Rail Europe is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots.
Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading supplier of high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets. In Europe, Hitachi Rail Europe’s first rolling stock contract was to deliver a fleet of 29 Class 395 trains, the first domestic high-speed train in the UK, which are maintained at Hitachi’s state of the art depot in Ashford, Kent. As part of the British Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi Rail Europe will replace the UK’s ageing fleet of Intercity trains, and will establish a new rolling stock manufacturing facility in the UK for this purpose. The trains will be maintained and services in a number of new maintenance
depots along the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.
For more information about the company, please visit: www.Hitachirail-eu.com .