The £10 million Health Futures UTC will serve 600 pupils and have 60 staff when it opens its doors in September 2015.
The new UTC is being built at the former Sandwell College site in High Street, West Bromwich. It is 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.
The cutting of the first ‘sod’ was carried out by 86-year-old Joe Davis, a former caretaker at Sandwell College who retired in 1993, and the Principal Designate of the new UTC, Robert Fell yesterday. (Wednesday 1 October 2014)
Mr Davis has lived in West Bromwich since 1938 and joined what was then West Bromwich College of Commerce & Technology in 1984 as Senior Caretaker. His son Paul works in the Estates and Facilities department at the University of Wolverhampton and is part of the team involved in delivering the new UTC.
The new UTC, which was approved by the Government last year, will be built by BAM Construction, who has been awarded a total of sixteen UTCs throughout the UK reflecting their proven ability to deliver such specialist buildings.
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 ceremony was attended by the Deputy Mayor of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Councillor Shirley Hosell, representatives of the University and BAM Construction, and the Principal Designate of the UTC, Robert Fell.
Mr Fell said: “It is wonderful to mark the formal redevelopment of this site and the foundation of our state of the art Health Futures UTC. I am proud that its long history of education is to be continued through our specialist school and sixth form, which, with our health sector partners and the University of Wolverhampton is going to provide the highest quality health focussed education and the most incredible opportunities for students from across the West Midlands.”
Professor Linda Lang, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, said: “We want to give young people who have an interest in a career in health, the best possible education to succeed and this highlights the strong commitment of colleagues and partners in reaching this significant stage in the development of the new UTC. This is a tangible step towards achieving our vision to develop local young people to their full potential, equipping them with the right education, skills, attitudes and understanding, so that they can go on to deliver a first class health service for the people of this region.”
Rob Stiles, Midlands Regional Director of BAM Construction, said: “The ceremony marks a significant milestone in the development of this new UTC in Sandwell. BAM has valuable experience delivering many UTCs and teaching hospitals throughout the Midlands, as well as the whole of the UK. The specialist teaching areas will provide an ideal environment in which medical students can learn the skills they will need to provide excellent care in their future careers.”
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.
Parents and prospective students will have the chance to find out more about the UTC at an open event being held at West Bromwich Town Hall in High Street between 6pm and 8pm on Monday 6 October 2014.
The UTC is now recruiting students for Year 10 and Year 12 places and will serve the communities of Birmingham, the Black Country, Solihull and North Worcestershire.
For more information about the Health Future UTC please visit http://www.healthfuturesutc.co.uk
email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01902 518642.
Picture: Left to right Linda Lang, Joe Davis, Robert Fell and Rob Stiles.
For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736.