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International engineering firm signs up to official partnership with South Devon UTC

December 4, 2020 | News

Even more employment opportunities have been made available to Newton Abbot’s young engineers as a pioneering technical college has announced a new partnership with Babcock International.

South Devon University Technical College (UTC) has announced Babcock as its latest employer partner. The Aerospace and Defence company, which serves highly regulated markets such as defence, emergency services and civil nuclear, will now help shape the curriculum, provide Challenge Projects and offer work experience to ensure South Devon UTC students are ready for work when they finish Year 13.

In addition to providing young engineers with vital knowledge and developing their skills to ensure students are work-ready, the employer partnership with Babcock will also allow South Devon UTC to incorporate further digital skills-based learning into the curriculum. In an evolving digital world, South Devon UTC recognises the importance of developing digital skills such as coding and problem-solving in its young engineers, preparing them to work in industries such as computer science and cyber security.

Globally, Babcock employees 35,000 staff, with several thousand working at Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth. Babcock’s commitment to STEM and inclusion creates a diverse working environment that aims to support all of its employees. To achieve this, a series of networks have been established such as its Neurodiversity Network. It is estimated that around 10% of the UK population is neurodivergent in some way*.

This includes conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism and dyspraxia. According to an NHS and Devon County Council report, it’s been predicted that 329 14 to 17 year-olds in Devon currently have some form of autism**. Employer partnerships between educational establishments and the region’s leading STEM firms, such as the relationship between South Devon UTC and Babcock, are vital to ensure neurodiversity is incorporated within the region’s future workforce.

Principal Claire Plumb commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Babcock International as our latest employer partner. The company provides a vital insight into industry and a host of work experience and career opportunities for our students. Not only are we committed to providing young people with first class employment opportunities for when they leave us, we also provide a skilled workforce to companies like Babcock, with students equipped with the grades and qualifications needed to close the STEM skills gap that is currently in effect across the UK.”

Richard Smith, Head of Quality based at Devonport Royal Dockyard, has joined the UTC Leadership Team as an Enterprise Advisor and commented: “We are delighted to be working with the team at South Devon UTC to provide support, guidance and share industry related knowledge. It provides a great opportunity to raise awareness about the wide range of engineering based careers on offer to students and I can answer any questions they have in relation to pursuing the many available opportunities.”

Other leading regional employers and founding partners of South Devon UTC include: South West Water; Royal Navy; Environment Agency; Linden Homes; Teignbridge District Council; FSB; MB Aerospace; Centrax; Galliford Try; Torbay Development Agency and national charity, Water Aid.

Based in Newton Abbot, South Devon UTC is a science and engineering specialist school which offers 14-19 year olds more than the traditional GCSE and A-level curriculum. Students work towards GCSEs and A-levels as well as technical qualifications in engineering and science. The college provides an environment that mirrors the workplace, helping students develop important employability skills to prepare them for a job, apprenticeship or degree when they leave school.

As a designated Careers Hub, South Devon UTC takes a strategic and operational approach to careers. The curriculum at South Devon UTC is driven by developing skills for employment, particularly focusing on the science and engineering sectors. South Devon UTC is now recruiting students for the 2021/22 academic year. Open mornings run every Friday from 11:30am to 12:30am. Register your interest to attend by calling 01626 240201 or visit