Alan joined Bucks UTC in the summer of 2013 and was highly motivated to help young people to gain well-paid jobs and have real employer experience to support their learning. After working in offender learning for six years he wanted to change direction and ensure these young people left the UTC with their chosen career in progress.
Employed previously by Milton Keynes Colleges, Alan worked with offenders at an open prison to enable them to gain employment upon release. He has also previously worked for G4S working in the security sector with the Ministry of Defence.
As well as having his PGCE, he is a Cisco Lead Instructor and has qualifications up to Cisco Professional Level. In 2013 he won the prestigious Butler Trust Award for work completed for the Ministry of Justice. Before joining the UTC he had four years’ experience in network installation, Technical Support, computer building and security.
Alan explained his reasons for joining Bucks UTC:
When I heard that a UTC was opening in Aylesbury I decided to apply as I knew that my experience and knowledge would benefit and complement the aims of the UTC and what they were trying to achieve with creating students ready for work. Having worked with Cisco and running a Cisco Academy I found it easy to work with employers and relate the academic subjects the students have to learn to the real world. My main reason for joining the UTC was, after working in prisons and seeing what might happen to individuals that don’t get a chance to learn and gain usable skills, I wanted to give students the chance to learn new skills and leave the UTC with qualifications that will put them in front of their competition when applying for jobs.
Alan has been quick to see the opportunities working in the UTC has provided. He says:
Giving the students a chance to see the working world and try as many different sectors of I.T. before deciding on the one they would like to specialise in. This also allows employers to have an impact on the students’ learning and influence the curriculum on the ground level. We also have projects that students get involved in, these give the students a chance to practice their skills and showcase what they can do.
At the UTC Alan has introduced 3D printing and worked with students on their BTEC assignments whilst helping them gain their Cisco qualifications alongside their main Diploma. He is passionate about the students and their learning and in his first year with the UTC won Teacher of the Year Award voted by the students. He always goes the extra mile, putting students’ learning first and encouraging them to take work placements as well as setting up opportunities and projects for them to work.
I’ve really enjoyed setting up links with local I.T. companies so the students gain as much exposure as possible while studying at the UTC. Some have led to fascinating real world projects such as designing and building a new type of gyrocopter to help search and rescue services.
Clearly Alan’s strengths for networking are not just of the digital variety.