What makes University Technical Colleges (UTCs) special is the breadth and depth of partnerships with employers and universities.
The industry-focused curriculum and the whole approach of UTCs enables students to develop the professional behaviours required by employers, such as problem-solving, time management, organisation, team working, leadership and communication skills.
Students at the UTC benefit from:
- projects provided by employers to fit with particular units of the curriculum
- opportunity to work in project teams, trying out different roles
- regular trips to a wide variety of workplaces
- tailored work experience
- talks and masterclasses from industry professionals and academics
- mentoring from employers giving an insight into different career paths and the skills required
Here are some examples of projects provided by our employer partners:
Global supplier to the printing industry
Agfa uses sulphuric acid to anodise aluminium. The acid is delivered to the factory at 98% and then diluted to feed the process at 64%. This means that Agfa can reduce road transport journeys, cut costs and reduce traffic emissions involved in delivery. The dilution process is exothermic, producing a great deal of heat, and this heat is currently vented to the atmosphere wasting energy.
UTC students are asked to creatively find ways to use this otherwise wasted heat within the factory. There are significant environmental benefits to using the heat and not using the fossil fuel sources currently used to create heat in the factory. The CO2 emitted by the factory could be reduced, thus lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing factory energy costs.
Global engineering and hi-tech solutions provider
Siemens’ Leeds-based operation, which specialises in mechanical drives, has offered a range of business challenges focused on day-to-day problems that arise from production or from the office environment, which staff at the Siemens’ Leeds office don’t have time to resolve.
For example, one of the problems the UTC students helped to solve was the supply of oil into gear units at the factory. This was originally being done by using a crane to suspend a barrel over a gear box, which was less accurate than required and also messy on occasion.
The UTC students came up with a solution that was subsequently implemented involving metering the oil. The gear boxes are now filled up with fuel from a large 1000 litre container in the same way as at a fuel station. This has yielded cost savings of £24,000 a year because of efficiencies and the opportunity to buy the oil at a better price.
Visit our employer showcase to find out more about employers working with UTC Leeds.