The Duke was taken on a tour of the UTC with Principal Dan Cundy, Head Boy Ben Shardow and Head Girl Ciara Moore, and participated in a number of activities including 3D printing, laser cutting, virtual and real life welding and materials testing. Students were delighted to share with The Duke their experiences of life at the UTC and how the unique and innovative curriculum has prepared them for life beyond school.
The Duke delivered an inspirational speech to students, staff and guests, highlighting the positive effects of a UTC education that combines hands-on learning with high academic expectation, explaining how apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships are increasingly becoming the younger generation’s pathway of choice.
His Royal Highness then unveiled the official opening plaque, which had been manufactured and etched by Year 12 students. Katherine Ordonez, Deputy Head Girl, was delighted to present to the Duke a plaque of his garter which had been designed and laser cut into wood by Year 10 and 11 students.
Professor Rao Bhamidimarri, CEO of South Bank Academies Trust, said: “His Royal Highness The Duke of York is a strong supporter of technical education and skills. That he chose to open formally our UTC is testament to his support of the commitment of South Bank Academies to offering young people in South London the very best opportunities.”
Principal Dan Cundy added:“Our staff and students were honoured to welcome His Royal Highness to conduct our official opening ceremony. The Duke took an extensive tour which included finding out first hand about laser cutting, 3D scanning and printing, virtual welding and other activities that our engineering students take part in to build their skills and employability as part of their academic curriculum. The Duke unveiled a plaque which was designed, fabricated and installed by UTC staff and students using on-site technology.”