New college is stepping up its recruitment drive
THE groundbreaking new University Technical College will be hoping to recruit its inaugural intake of students at a series of open days starting next week.
Briefings will be given at locations around the Plymouth area as college chiefs look to fill the 150 places available for next September's debut intake.
And while that's going on they are looking for staff too.
Interviews were due to take place this week for the UTC's vice-principal.
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Other key posts will be filled soon too.
And as demolition work nears completion at the Devonport site, formerly used by the long-closed Parkside School, construction work is due to begin.
But away from the hard-hats and diggers, Brain Warren, project leader for UTC Plymouth, and Mary Cox, who started work as the UTC's first principal just this month, are also busy securing the best, and most up-to-date, equipment for use by students at the college.
UTC Plymouth is one of 32 of the Government's revolutionary colleges being set up nationwide.
It will specialise in marine engineering and advanced manufacturing, working closely with partners companies, including many of Plymouth's leading firms.
It will take students aged from 14 to 19, but when it opens in September next year it will only have an intake of 150 split between Year 10 and Year 12.
Applications have already arrived and Mr Warren and Mrs Cox are hoping to attract more from six open evening events.
They will be at City College Plymouth's King's Road campus on December 3, Tavistock Town Hall on December 4, Plymouth University's Roland Levinsky Building on December 5, Torpoint Council Chamber on December 6, Saltash Main Hall on December 11, and Ivybridge Watermark on December 12. All events start at 5.45pm.
"We already have a good cohort who have expressed interest," said Mr Warren. "There's a few spaces for Year 10 and lots of space for Year 12, but it's early for them to make a decision.
"But we want students to sign up early to guarantee a place."
He said that once the 75-student limit is reached in each year groups a "lottery" system decides who gets in.
"In spring we will have meetings with all the prospective students and their parents, one-to-one," Mrs Cox said. "The more we know about them the better we can place the curriculum, particularly in the projects we will be putting in place with employers. That's the backbone."
Mr Warren added: "We are also advertising now for staff to join in February.
"And we are interviewing for a vice-principal this week. We are hoping for someone local."
The UTC has already had a huge rush of interests for its three heads of faculty jobs: the directors of maths, English and languages, and sciences.
"The website has been hammered," Mr Warren said. "We had more than 600 hits in just five days. There's been lots of interest.
"By 2017 we will have 70 staff here – that's extra jobs.
"And through catering, cleaning and facilities management, another 12 jobs, with part-time posts too."
Mrs Cox said the college also aims to employ apprentices, who won't be students, but working in jobs such as admin, catering and as technicians.