This morning we met at the Sheffield University Technical College (UTC) Sheffield, which was built by Wates Construction, and is currently working with around 300 students this academic year before moving to its full complement of 600 students next year. The Sheffield UTC is one of 12 new university technical colleges and has been sponsored and led by The Sheffield College with Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry as co-sponsors. The recent McKinsey Report “Education to employment: Designing a system that works” highlights the fact that “the current education-to-employment systems lack what is required to support young people effectively. We cannot afford tomorrow’s approach to be more of the same. Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We need a new system, not patches on the current one. This requires the development of a common core, combined with tailored initiatives, enabling schools/colleges to offer customized, personalised and cost effective solutions that do not break the bank. This approach also critically depends on having an agreed set of common skills to teach.”
It's interesting that employers in Sheffield, led by the Cutlers' Company, have done exactly that and, alongside the UTC and AMRC, worked together with schools to develop an agreed set of common skills, tailored initiatives and a curriculum model that delivers academic rigour and produces rounded and grounded young people who have the skills and behaviours that are essential in the world of work.