HRH the Duke of York, KG flew into Salford today (17th March) to meet talented students from MediaCity’s University Technical College. The Duke was guest of honour at UTC@MediaCityUK’s Talent and Skills Day, which celebrated students’ digital skills.
The UTC@MediaCityUK is a college for 14-18 year olds who have a passion for shaping digital and creative content. Students study a mixture of academic GCSEs, A-levels and technical qualifications as well as getting hands-on, practical experience in specialist pathways such as TV & Film, Graphics & Design, Radio & Audio, and Interactive Media & Gaming.
The Duke of York met students studying in each of the UTC’s pathways during his tour of the state of the art facilities. He also met the UTC’s sponsors the University of Salford, the Lowry and Aldridge Education. Aldridge Foundation Chief Executive Beki Martin introduced the Duke to two student businesses and one community project which use the UTC’s Enterprise Hub facilities.
She said: “The students were aspirational and engaging. The quality of some of the work they presented was literally breath-taking – from the animations to the game design to an advert for a major sports brand that one of our students did all the Foleys (sound effects) for without any intervention from the production company making the ad.”
“Prince Andrew was most interested in talking to students and hearing their experiences. The Aldridge Creates enterprise hub was his first port of call and he talked to two student businesses and one community company based at the UTC.”
Local dignitaries joined the visit including the High Sheriff (Lady Joy Smith), The Worshipful Mayor of Salford (Councillor Karen Garrido) and The City Mayor of Salford (Paul Dennett.) The guests also had a chance to meet employer partners from the creative and digital communities including small tech start-up RooCru , the BBC and ITV.
His Royal Highness concluded the tour by giving a talk as part of #ThinkUTC day, which was filmed by the students to share with other UTCs nationally. He said: “This UTC is like no other I have visited. The skills you are delivering to students are preparing them to such an advanced level that they may not go to university, but straight into employment.”
Matt Tiplady, a year 13 student said:
“It was great opportunity for us to showcase our work to our partners and also employers in the Manchester digital community through the attention HRH the Duke of York’s visit has received.”
James Medd of the local business hub The Landing said:
“Working with these young people has been a joy, their enthusiasm for the different work we have done with them has been infectious. They are a credit to their teachers and college. We were very proud to be able to present our work with them to His Royal Highness.”
The Principal Sharon Gardner said:
“In our second year, it is fantastic to celebrate the talent and skills being developed here with our students. Visitors, partners and sponsors have all been impressed by the level of technical skill, maturity and creativity at work. Testament to this is that we have Year 13 students with offers from prestigious university departments, including an offer from Oxford University.”