Ford is making a £322,000 contribution towards the creation of a new University Technical College for students aged 14-19 studying engineering and design.
The foundation of the East London University Technical College, ELUTEC, was welcomed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who inaugurated the site today. ELUTEC will be located on the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) campus in Rainham, Essex.
Mark Ovenden, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain, confirmed that Ford would support the new technical college by helping to fund key facilities, including a digital engineering and robotics laboratory, and an engineering and manufacturing suite.
Bill Williams, chief executive at CEME, said, “We are delighted that ELUTEC will be open to the students of East London and Essex. This new type of university technical college is supported by the Department of Education and ELUTEC is sponsored by University College London (UCL), who will provide input and direction to the education content and approach.”
Ruth Umerah, ELUTEC’s Principal, reported that the college is already inviting interest from students in the Thames Gateway area, including Havering, Barking, Dagenham, Newham, Redbridge and Thurrock.
ELUTEC is aimed at students selecting their ‘options’ – a choice of subjects and courses available in years 10 and 12 – and will offer them real-world, practical-based learning alongside core subjects such as English, Maths and Science.
Boris Johnson, said, “Great feats of British engineering have helped to shape the modern world in which we live today, and for London to continue to grow, we need to support the young people who will design and construct the huge engineering projects that will define our nation. The new college will be instrumental in ushering in the next generation of great British engineers and securing London’s status as the greatest city on earth.”
Mark Ovenden said, “Work placements as part of the curriculum mean that these students will be ‘work ready’ when their courses finish, in addition to possessing the relevant qualifications to pursue their careers.
“Ford is proud of its 10-year association with CEME and this is the next significant step in the journey of this campus. ELUTEC has a bright future and we look forward to accelerating its success.”
Ford’s support for ELUTEC comes from a community fund set up after the closure of Dagenham Stamping and Tooling Operations in 2013. Further payments will be announced from this fund, which aims to continue Ford’s long-term support of educational and social initiatives in Dagenham and the surrounding community.
The CEME campus is a base for Ford apprenticeship schemes, including students on Ford’s latest Higher Apprenticeship programme, which offers a degree-level qualification in Product Development Engineering. The High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI) is another of Ford’s partnerships with CEME, established in 2013, providing advanced manufacturing research, new technology development and product engineering.
Ford invests significantly in developing the skills it needs in its business, working with local schools to help deliver aspects of their curriculum, particularly in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Ford also runs a craft apprenticeship programme at CEME and other apprenticeship subjects across its dealer network.