Speaking at the annual Duke of York Awards for Technical Education, the Duke of York said that an education gained at a University Technical College (UTC) provides young people with the greatest flexibility to cope with the “velocity of change” in the workplace.
He added that UTCs, which specialise ion vocational education and technical training for students aged 14 to 19, give pupils “the most useful knowledge” of any type of school.
Speaking at the ceremony, held at St James’s Palace, the Duke of York said: “The velocity of change in the workplace is only increasing, which means that many of you aren’t going to be doing what you are doing now. But the basis of knowledge that you have gained whilst at the UTC is probably the most useful basis of knowledge in any school system that we have in the UK. It gives you the greatest flexibility in being able to cope with that velocity of change.”
The Duke added that he believes: “This country needs well-educated, technically-minded people. It doesn’t always need philosophers. It doesn’t always need people who can write perfect English. It needs people who are going to be able to use their skills.”
During the ceremony, the Duke of York, who is patron of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which works to promote UTCs, handed out awards to students from five UTCs – Central Bedfordshire, Medway, Leigh, Oxfordshire and Reading.
Following the event, the Duke continued to speak passionately about the education UTCs provide, saying: “Engineering skills are some of the most important skills that we need in this country. Virtually everything requires an engineering skill of one sort or another.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are sitting behind a desk, or whether you are outside working on a pipeline. Everything requires some form of engineering skill.
“So, this is less about vocational activity but actually about a mechanical, electrical, engineering basis of knowledge that is going to suit a vast majority of people in their career path.”