Ron Dearing UTC hailed as ‘huge success’ in Tech Nation 2018 report

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 18 May 2018

Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) has been highlighted as a “huge success” and a key factor in Hull’s growing reputation as a leading digital centre in the influential Tech Nation 2018 report.

The Tech Nation report is the most authoritative analysis of the UK’s digital economy and tracks the evolution of Britain’s tech sector.

Previous reports have identified Hull as a major digital cluster and the 2018 analysis plots the continuing growth of the tech sector in the city.

It found turnover of digital technology businesses in the city had now reached £568m, with more than 4,000 jobs in digital tech, up by 15% over three years.

The report said Hull’s status as UK City of Culture 2017, high standard of living and entrepreneurial tradition all helped make the city “an attractive destination for digital tech startups”.

Employer-led Ron Dearing UTC is spotlighted as a key recent development, contributing to the growth of the city’s digital economy.

Tech Nation 2018 said: “Ron Dearing UTC opened its doors in September 2017. The new school focuses on digital tech and mechatronics and is sponsored by local businesses such as KCOM, ensuring that its curriculum is fit for business. The school has been a huge success, and it is already oversubscribed.”

The report highlighted a Ron Dearing UTC Major Partner, the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub, as being at the heart of the tech scene.

It also notes that long-established businesses continue to innovate through technology, giving the example of Hull-based Arco, the UK’s leading safety company and another Ron Dearing UTC Major Partner. Arco has invested in a 50-strong digital team as part of its £30m “Digital First” transformation programme and works closely with Hull’s tech community to tap into specialist skills.

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Ron Dearing UTC Principal Sarah Pashley said: “It’s very encouraging to see Hull featured again in the influential annual Tech Nation report and we’re pleased to be highlighted as a key development adding to the city’s digital credentials.

“The growth of the digital economy in and around the city is really exciting and we feel privileged to work so closely with many of our partners who are at the forefront of tech innovation.

“This report illustrates the tremendous and ever-growing opportunities available to our students. It also underlines the critical importance of our work developing talented young people with the skills and attitude to sustain the region’s rapid growth, powered by digital technology.”

Ron Dearing UTC has been established to develop a new pipeline of work-ready young people with advanced technical skills. Digital technology is one of the school’s key specialisms, together with mechatronics – a combination of computing and engineering.

The school’s Founding Partners include the University of Hull, which has one of the UK’s leading computer science departments and is heavily engaged in digital innovation, and KCOM, the Hull-based digital technology, communications and IT services provider.

The other Founding Partners are the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company, RB; wind power giant Siemens Gamesa; global medical technology business Smith & Nephew; and specialist engineering business Spencer Group. Digital technology is at the heart of all these businesses.

The school’s line-up of Major Partners includes APD Communications, which provides critical, life-saving software to emergency services organisations; Fujitsu, the global information and communications technology company; and Sonoco Trident, the world’s fastest-growing digital brand management business.

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