A new technical college supported by some of London’s biggest engineering businesses and due to open this year has reached a major milestone.
A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held Wednesday 29 March to mark the historic day for the Sir Simon Milton Westminster University Technical College.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Leader of Westminster City Council, Karen Barker, the Principal Designate of the new UTC and Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, performed a “topping out” of the £20 million new building. All attendees also received an engraved trowel as part of the ceremony to mark the moment the building reached its maximum height.
Cllr Nickie Aiken, Leader of Westminster City Council said:“I am delighted to be part of this key milestone in the development of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC. The UTC is a fantastic partnership with key engineering businesses such as Network Rail, Land Securities and BT, to train the engineers of the future, right here in the heart of London. The creation of the UTC is a key part of the council’s commitment to civic leadership; maximising opportunities for young people”
Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council, Trustee of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation and Simon’s civil partner, said: “It is an honour to be here to be part of this momentous occasion for the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, it is testament to the hard work that so many people have put in. I very much look forward to welcoming the first pupils when the doors open in September. I know that Simon would be very proud to see the UTC bear his name, he cared so much about young people, and building a city where everyone is supported and encouraged to achieve their aspiration.”
Karen Barker, Principal Designate of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC said: “It is fabulous to see the UTC as a whole building and a reminder that in just five short months, hundreds of students will also be reaching new heights and looking forward to promising futures in engineering. The Oxford English Dictionary defines an engineer as someone who can ‘skilfully arrange for something to happen’, and this is certainly apt for the whole team who have got the college to this stage.”
The Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC will open in London in September 2017. It will offer 14 to 19 year olds the opportunity to study for technical qualifications, in transport engineering and construction as part of their GCSE and A-Level curriculum.
The Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC is supported by major employers within the transport engineering and construction sectors including Sir Robert McAlpine, Network Rail, Crossrail, Land Securities, BT Fleet and the University of Westminster, amongst others. These partners have helped to develop its curriculum and will provide work experience, apprenticeships and employment opportunities for students.
The idea of developing a UTC was suggested by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation Trustees who recognised that too few young people in London had access to the Technical Skills education needed to secure jobs and careers in London. The Sir Simon Milton Foundation is the UTC’s charity partner and it has contributed through fund-raising to provide scholarships, travel bursaries and additional funding for staff appointments.