Free schools for arms companies


The new UTCs (University Technical Colleges) are free schools, ‘specialising in practical, employment focused subjects’. Many are sponsored by arms companies or institutions with military connections.

It’s a wise business decision from their point of view: free PR, opportunities to meet, impress and brainwash children, logos splashed around activities, the building, documents and annual reports – and anything else that students encounter in their daily studies. Plus the chance to play a role ‘in developing the curriculum, ethos and organisational plans of the UTC’.

Employers are fundamental to UTCs. They play a central role in UTCs right from the very beginning to identify business needs and the skills shortages in the local region. This shapes the technical specialisms of the UTC and ensures it meets the needs of local employers.

From the UTC website

We have one in Chatham starting up in September. BAE Systems is among the sponsors.  But there are more around the country: there’s a (selective) list below of some of the companies which are cashing in on the opportunities on offer.

Here’s what the Tory Councillor, Les Wicks, has to say about Chatham UTC:

[Y]oungsters will have nearly 50% of their time working on projects which will be presented to them by the employers. That’s one of the features of the school – the close workiing that there will be with employers. Employers will in fact have a lot of say in how the college is run and in what the curriculum looks like and what the timetable looks like. 

… here we’re saying to employers ‘look, we have a good supply of engineers here, and more to come. This is a good place for you to come and locate your company’

Other UTCs around the country with military connections:

At least 20 UTCs have significant military companies as sponsors. This is not a complete list.

Birmingham: RAF, Jaguar Land Rover
Bristol: Airbus, GKN, Rolls Royce
Burnley: Rolls Royce
Chatham: BAE Systems, Delphi, Royal School Military Engineers
Cumbria: National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield Ltd1, Royal Navy
Derby: Rolls Royce
Harlow: Raytheon
Houghton Regis: B/E Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Airbus
Northwood: RAF Northolt
Peterborough: Marshall Aerospace
Plymouth: Babcock International, Royal Navy, MoD, UTC Aerospace
Portsmouth: Airbus, BAE Systems, Royal Navy
Salisbury: Qinetiq, Chemring, 43 Wessex Brigade
Scunthorpe: BAE Systems
Sheffield: Rolls Royce
Solihull: Jaguar, Dassault, Aero Engine Controls (Rolls Royce)
South Gloucestershire: GCHQ, Delphi, Rolls Royce, Selex
Stafforshire: Rolls Royce
Warrington: Sellafield Ltd1
Warwick: Jaguar, Dassault Systems

1. Sellafield Ltd is owned by Nuclear Management Partners (NMP), a consortium which includes URS (and AMEC and Areva)


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