Supporting the next generation of innovators in the region

At the AHSN NENC we believe it is very important to inspire the next generation of healthcare workers and innovators, which is one of the reasons we’re so proud to support North East Futures UTC.

The University Technical College is an education provider for 14-19 year olds that has a strong focus on filling the skills gap in the digital technology and healthcare science sectors.  It combines  traditional education with a specialist careers programme, offering cutting edge projects and invaluable opportunities such as work experience placements, guest speakers and sponsorship.

In this article, Principal Daniel Sydes explains their unique offer to students and how industry partners can sign up to their mentor programme.

Daniel said: “The UTC is a vital introduction to the North East education offer and is unique in that we work with local employers in our specialism areas of Healthcare Science and Digital Technology and beyond to help them fill the skills gap that has been created due to the significant and continuous growth in these sectors.

“We not only help students attain their academic ambitions but by working with local employers in STEM sectors we help them to gain the insight they need to make informed choices about their future careers and develop the employability skills they need to stand out and be recognised by employers feeding their talent pipeline.

“The relationships we have with companies such as the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) are essential to support our students in achieving their career ambitions and inspiring them to look at careers they may not have considered before. AHSN NENC has already delivered project days, career talks and provided industry mentors for UTC students, giving them the edge when they are developing their CV’s. AHSN NENC  continue to support these programmes with some exciting plans for 2023 and beyond.

“This unique UTC Curriculum has allowed the UTC to ensure 100% of our students have secured positive destinations since we opened in 2018 which is significantly higher than the regional and national average and is something we are very proud of and couldn’t achieve without the support of our employer partners.”


Dr Nicola Hutchinson, Chief Executive Officer at the AHSN NENC, said: “We’re very proud to have been involved in the funding application to the Department for Education for NE Futures UTC. Our involvement dates back to 2014 when Lord Baker, Chair of the Baker Dearing Trust, visited the North East region to talk about UTCs. At that time we didn’t have a UTC in the region whereas now we are fortunate to have two (the other is South West Durham UTC).

“The AHSN NENC became involved as we are passionate about catering for the more than 300 careers that exist within the NHS and the need to equip younger generations for these careers. We also believe it’s important to retain local talent for the benefit of our region. When I was younger, I wish that someone had explained to me the number of different careers options within the health service. For many people, their first thought is likely to be of doctors and nurses, but there’s so many other rewarding and insightful careers within the NHS.

“NE Futures UTC has had a huge impact on our region since its inception and is now recognised as a world class school at the cutting edge of innovation and truly provides a unique offering to its students, many of them leaving with a much better understanding of the working world provided through niche work experience opportunities or school wide projects.”


The North East Futures UTC mentor programme aims to inspire and support the next generation of workers in the region, and help those aged 14-19 to build skills for the workplace.

For more information about NE Futures UTC and to register your interest in becoming a mentor visit