New Health Sciences University Technical College

The Health Futures UTC is being sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton in conjunction with 23 partners including all NHS Trusts in the Black Country and Birmingham. The lead employer is West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

The UTC, which will be based at a central site in West Bromwich, will be aimed at 14-19 year-olds in the region.

It will offer opportunities to undertake full-time academic, practical, vocational and technical studies in a wide range of specialist skills that will help prepare them for a career in the future NHS or health science based industries, including the pharmaceutical industry.

Students will be prepared for and gain direct insight into a wide range of health careers such as nursing, paramedic services, radiography, pathology, physiotherapy and pharmacy within the NHS and private sector.

It will also seek to offer an outstanding science programme of study with both the University and employers playing a key role in promoting access to cutting-edge scientific techniques.

A key feature will be close links with employers and involvement of patients, service users and carers in the planning, development and delivery of the curriculum.

It is planned to open the new UTC in September 2014. Catering for 600 pupils, it will include state-of-the-art equipment in simulation and skills labs to give students an insight into the world of work in this field.

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We believe that a close relationship between the University of Wolverhampton and the UTC will raise aspirations of students to progress to higher education and employment. It will encourage development of the UTC as an outstanding centre of excellence for health and sciences education.”                

Dr Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “Having the UTC will be very valuable as a means of the ambulance service finding the right people with the right skills locally.  The UTC will create the next generation of healthcare practitioners, leaders and career scientists and we are delighted to support it.”

Professor Linda Lang, Dean of the University’s School of Health and Wellbeing, said: “This will be among the few UTCs in the country to offer a focus on health and the first that involves working with such a broad range of partners.

“Partnerships, particularly those with colleagues in clinical practice, were crucial to the success of the bid.

“The aim of the UTC is to help tackle the shortage of young people with the skills, professionalism and aspiration to meet the needs of employers for technician and graduate entrants to careers in health and health sciences and to nurture them to develop the right value and attitudes.

“In a week in which we have heard the Government’s response to the Francis Report, I think this provides a fantastic opportunity to start preparing young people from an early age, not only in the academic and technical facets of healthcare, but also by embedding the key attributes of compassion and care.”

The bid for the new UTC had to go through a stringent bidding process overseen by the Department of Education.

ENDS

For more information please contact James Allen in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003

Date Issued: Thursday 28 March 2013

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