Helping young people to aspire and older people to thrive

Greg Clark opens Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, formally opened the new Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College (UTC) which is located at Ebury Bridge, Victoria, on Tuesday, 20th March 2018. He commented: “it’s marvellous to be able to celebrate a landmark project which is going to change the lives of young people.

Pictured above left-right: Lord Baker, The Lady Christabel Flight, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Elizabeth Phillips, The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Ian Adams, Diane Yeo, John Barradell, and Sir Peter Hendy.

Around 120 guests attended the event including staff, representatives of the unique Employer Alliance members of the local community and many of those who had been involved in the design and development of the state-of-the-art building.

Students and staff were on hand to greet guests and give personal tours of the college, its classrooms, IT and engineering workshops. Additional speeches were given by Chair of Governors, Mrs Elizabeth Phillips; Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, the lead employer partner; Mrs Diane Yeo, Deputy Chair, Court of Governors of the University of Westminster; Mr John Barradell, Chair of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, and Lord Baker, the inspiration behind the UTC concept.

Sir Peter Hendy highlighted the “unique collaboration” of business and educators which underpins the UTC saying: “The industry has a huge crisis in finding enough young and agile minds to keep us working in the 21st century. In Network Rail in the London area alone there are 150 job opportunities each year for people with a real insight into the world of work. This is an opportunity to address long term skill shortages.

Year 12 students D. Kadiata and G. Belloso-Brun and Year 10 student J. Bekono inspired the audience by praising their teachers as “hardworking and diligent” and said that they were “overwhelmed by how supportive and kind the teachers were and how welcome they made me feel”. One student added: “joining the UTC has opened my eyes to the opportunities in engineering”.

Closing remarks were made by Christabel, The Lady Flight, founding Trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and the inspiration for this UTC. She described the challenges in bringing the UTC from initial idea to fruition, highlighting her determination that it should succeed with the words: “If you have a dream, just go ahead with it – nothing is impossible”.

Like all UTCs, Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC focuses on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) with a strong emphasis on the practical applications of learning and readying students for life in the workplace. It was co-founded by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, the University of Westminster and Network Rail. It is supported by Westminster City Council.

Find out more about how the Sir Simon Milton Foundation supports the Westminster UTC.

More details about the UTC can be found on the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC website.