Integrated circuit pioneer Dialog Semiconductor has donated £80,000 to UTC Swindon as the college gears up to welcome its first students in September.
Dialog, which has an engineering support office on Swindon’s Delta office park, is splitting its donation equally between investment in specialist equipment for the UTC and funding to support its first academic year.
The firm is the latest in a line of local businesses supporting the UTC (University Technical College), which will have 600 students aged 14 to 19 who aspire to a career in engineering. The college will teach skills across all parts of the engineering industries, providing Swindon firms with a pool of skilled labour at a time when many struggle to fill vacancies.
UTC principal Angela Barker-Dench said: “Our business partners are helping us create engineering courses in a genuine workplace environment. This tremendous donation from Dialog Semiconductor has already enhanced the technological facilities we can provide greatly and will go a long way for our helping our students get the best possible education. Partnerships between colleges and industry are at the heart of Government thinking behind University Technical Colleges. This is a great example of such a partnership in action.”
Last month microchip giant Intel, which has a major base in Swindon, donated 90 Galileo microcontroller boards worth £4,500 to the UTC. Microchip design, engineering and testing are vital components of Swindon’s economy and, as well as Dialog and Intel, the area is also home to major players in the sector such as Plessey, Fairchild and Swindon Silicon Systems.
Dialog, one of Europe’s fastest growing businesses in its field, creates energy-efficient integrated circuits used in personal portable devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as short-range wireless, lighting and automotive applications. Its chips increase battery life, enabling faster charging and enhancing the consumer’s experience. Founded in 1981 and with its headquarters in Reading, it has had a presence in Swindon since 2009.
Dialog has always been committed to supporting the development of young people. One of its employees was recently named NMI Young Engineer of the Year while another won the NMI National Training and Development Award.
UTC Swindon will be run by a trust sponsored by Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and Oxford Brookes University. Industry partners include BMW UK Manufacturing Ltd, Alcatel-Lucent, Halcrow Group Ltd, Honda of the UK Manufacturing, Intel Corp UK, Network Rail, Nationwide Building Society, and Thames Water. A link is also being developed with the proposed new Ministry of Defence Technical Support Unit to be based at Lyneham.
* Prospective students and parents can discover more about the UTC at an open evening at Saint Marks Church, Church Place, Swindon, this evening from 6:30pm to 8pm.
Principal Angela Barker-Dench will explain the curriculum and there will be a presentation describing the specialist engineering education, the types of engineering careers available and how to apply for places.