We welcomed His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, to open our new specialist Mechatronics Lab, meet staff, current students and industry partners on Tuesday this week.

The Duke of Kent arrived in County Durham in the morning and his first stop in the region was with us here at UTC South Durham to see how we support young people to prepare themselves for outstanding careers.

Principal, Tom Dower said, “It’s fantastic for us to be host to a member of the royal family and have the opportunity to showcase the region’s students, their abilities and our unique facilities. The focus of the UTC is to help young people get ready for the world of work and find meaningful, technical and academic careers. We receive excellent support from our founding organisations, The University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe and Gestamp Tallent, alongside a wide range of local and regional businesses and national employers. We are delighted that our very first cohort are moving onto apprenticeships with these employers or starting great university courses.”

Mechatronics is the combination of electronics engineering and mechanical engineering and many companies are struggling to find well-educated employees in these technical areas. The new Mechatronics Lab houses industry standard equipment. Tom went on to say, “Working in collaboration with businesses in the STEM sector to meet the needs of the industries that surround us is at the heart of what we do here. The UTC has responded to the gap in skills and the demand of students to develop this course. The skills they are developing make our students very employable. We are very proud of what they have achieved in such a short time; their future is bright."