Former UTC Oxfordshire students get royal recognition at Duke of York Awards

On Wednesday 30 January, former UTC Oxfordshire students joined over 140 students from University Technical Colleges (UTCs) across the country at the Duke of York Award for Technical Education 2019 at St James’ Palace, London.

Founded in 2012, The Duke of York Award recognises the success of students who have pursued highly technical subjects including engineering, health sciences, advanced manufacturing and computer science.  It reflects the unique specialist education young people receive at UTCs, institutions that offer academic, technical and practical education.

Nomination for The Duke of York Award for Technical Education is based on successfully completing a process of work experience placements, academic achievement and development of workplace skills together with a rigorous assessment interview.

Congratulations to the 25 former UTC Oxfordshire students who achieved Gold Awards and have gone on to secure fantastic apprenticeship and university placements:

  • Bethany Mcconville – degree apprenticeship at Allied Bakeries
  • Brandon Andrews – higher apprenticeship at Oxford Engineering
  • Carl Gregory – higher apprenticeship at OCC
  • Charlie Eadle – degree apprenticeship at Peter Brett Associates (PBA)
  • Christopher Gould – degree apprenticeship at Atkins
  • Christopher Winstone – advanced apprenticeship at BMW-Mini
  • David Tillin – Southampton University studying Civil Engineering
  • Harvey Williams – degree apprenticeship at Crown Technology
  • Henry Edwards – degree apprenticeship at STFC
  • Jack Davies – degree apprenticeship at Neilson
  • Jake Long – advanced apprenticeship at Aston Martin
  • Jeremy Lu – Loughborough University studying Nutrition
  • John Karditsas – Surrey University studying Business Management
  • Lee Besley – degree apprenticeship at Dash-Cae
  • Lucy Butcher – Cardiff University studying Mechanical Engineering
  • Lucy Slatter – University of East Anglia studying Child Nursing
  • Rachel Davies – GAP year
  • Rui Manaia – Anglia Ruskin University studying Biomedical Science
  • Sam Carroll – employment with P&M Aviation
  • Tanha Miah – Oxford Brookes University studying Engineering
  • Thomas Aram – degree apprenticeship at Xtrac
  • Timothy Rayment – degree apprenticeship at Green Biologics
  • William Stone – advanced apprenticeship with HR Wallingford
  • William Fothergill – Oxford Brookes University studying Automotive Technology
  • Zoe Townsend – University of West England studying Mechanical Engineering

Gold and Outstanding Achievement Award winners from 2017, Yassmine Girgis and Francesca Topp, were invited to the palace to share their career progress with HRH and invited guests. After leaving UTC Oxfordshire, Yassmine started a degree apprenticeship at Jaguar Land Rover and Francesca is studying environmental science at the University of Southampton.

Yassmine said: “After having spent a year and a half on the apprenticeship scheme, I cannot possibly imagine having followed a different route like the one I had been planning to for the majority of my education. For this, I can only thank UTC Oxfordshire for providing me with the option to learn more about apprenticeships and the application of engineering theory into practical applications.”

Francesca said: “Just like you all, I achieved my Duke of York Award, as well as an Outstanding Achievement Team Award. When I first left UTC Oxfordshire, I joined the same apprenticeship scheme as Yassmine. I learnt so much during my year at Jaguar Land Rover by meeting new people, solving problems in pressured environments and how important it is to have a good team working and communication skills.”

Francesca’s route through Jaguar Land Rover soon took her to choosing to study an environmental course at the University of Southampton. She added: “I’ve been asked the question of ‘would I have had these opportunities if I had stayed at my old school instead of choosing the UTC’. The answer is absolutely not. Words cannot express how grateful I am to UTC Oxfordshire for helping me become the person I am today. The UTC taught me the fundamentals of a professional environment, and they gave me so many more opportunities through employer-led projects as well as the amazing facilities to aid my qualifications.”

“Even though I have graduated from the UTC, I very much feel as though I am still part of the UTC community. I would like to say a special thanks to Head of Sixth Form, Sue, as during my transition from Jaguar Land Rover to Southampton University, she was with me every step of the way. UTC has taught me resilience, teamwork, motivation, but most importantly the teachers have taught me to believe in myself and my choices”.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of York said:

“By seeking out University Technical Colleges, you have set yourself apart from others in the education system. Those who make a success of it – as you all have – have a level of self-determination and motivation that means you will move quickly through the ranks in the workplace.”

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