Thomas B at Gestamp Tallent

I joined UTC South Durham back in 2018, not knowing what I wanted to do or be. When I joined, my family and I did not know what to expect from the school or teachers as there was no OFSTED report for the school - it was brand new! If I’m honest I didn’t know anything about engineering or how many different types there was. 

The skills I’ve personally gained haven’t just been engineering based. I’ve gained confidence in myself; how to write more effectively, how to shake hands and use eye contact and you might think that that’s silly, but it really is the way you do it that makes the difference. I’ve also learnt how to use all of the engineering equipment - machines that I had never seen or used before. It was like an alien world for me. UTC South Durham helped me, particularly the student support team. I went through hard times and I was able to get so much help from them. I am so grateful for the help they gave me.

The biggest skill I’ve learnt from the UTC would have to be belief in myself and the belief that I can do what I want to do if I put my mind to it and that I can get what I want with the right mind set.


The UTC isn’t your average school in my opinion, as it brings so many opportunities not just for the high graded students but all students within the UTC. Also, you call your teachers by their first names and you get treated like you're an employee, making you feel it as if you're in the world of work already. It was a weird but funny change for me, as all I wanted to be was a footballer. But that changed over two years at UTC South Durham.


Because of the support, skills and experience I gained at the UTC, I am now on a 4 year apprenticeship with Gestamp, which is an automotive industry manufacture that specialises in chassis for cars. My job role is a Mechanical Engineer Toolmaker and I was able to get this role because of the UTC. Massive thanks to all of the members of staff -  from the front desk (as you get greeted with a nice smile as you enter the building) through to every department in the school.