The Northern Powerhouse report released today claims children in the north of England are falling far behind their peers in terms of their educational development. Michelle Dewberry, former Apprentice winner and University Technical Colleges National Ambassador responds:

“The report proves that children in the North are ‘falling behind’ their peers on a national level and this worries me. It’s important that all young people get the education they need and deserve, no matter where they live or what their background is.

“The report recognises the need for local employers to play a greater role in ensuring young people are equipped for the workplace. And this is already happening at University Technical Colleges.

“UTCs work with more than 450 employers to ensure their students’ education is relevant to the world of work. Local and national employers adapt the curriculum and work with students on real life projects. They ensure that leavers have the necessary skillset to compete in the job market – and for apprenticeships and university places.

“And it’s having a very positive impact. One in three UTC graduates join the employer they have worked with whilst at school and 26% of all leavers go straight into apprenticeships, compared to just 7% nationally*.

“With technology changing UK businesses at a rapid rate, it is more important than ever to engage employers to discover the types of skills they look for and expect they will need moving forward. The school system failed me but my apprenticeship was the making of me – and we must acknowledge the need to cater for different interests and abilities.”

*Dfe destination of KS4 and KS5 pupils: 2016 SFR56/2017