Katie Lockwood has just completed her GCSEs at Lincoln UTC. She achieved the grades she wanted and has been able to progress towards her dream job as an aeronautical engineer, two years ahead of other school-leavers in her position.

This is all thanks to the opportunities and support that her UTC gave her in pursuing her favourite subject - engineering. Here's Katie's story:

Why choose Lincoln UTC?

Katie first heard about Lincoln UTC, a new 14-19 school opening in September 2014, when she received a letter through the post. She was immediately attracted to it because it specialised in engineering, which was something she was very interested in. Three generations of Katie’s family have been involved in aeronautical engineering - her father, grandparents and her great grandfather.

Although Katie was happy at her school she wasn’t able to select engineering as one of her options for her GCSEs. So, during the summer holiday she went to talk to the staff at the UTC and she was really impressed by what she heard. She immediately applied for a place and started in September.

I was completely sold. The fact I could study engineering, the impressive equipment and the links with employers was really appealing. I also liked the fact that I could work with my hands to make things and apply my learning in a practical way.

The Lincoln experience

Katie is really pleased she made the change to Lincoln UTC.

Lincoln UTC was like a big family. With only two year groups in the first year, we got to know everyone. We had amazing access to our teachers and much more one-to-one support. I felt I wasn’t just a student but seen as an individual.

Katie had been really struggling with English at her previous school and typically got Ds and Es in her work. At Lincoln she received extra support and her grades started to improve. This was reflected in her GCSE English where she secured an A in her GCSE coursework.

Whilst at Lincoln, Katie decided to apply for an engineering apprenticeship with AirTanker, a consortium of the leading aerospace companies working on the Ministry of Defence contract for RAF Voyager. Despite the gruelling application including multiple interviews, aptitude tests and a written exam, Katie was one of six young people to be selected from 300 to take up an apprenticeship.

I’m really proud I managed to secure a place. What helped was the experience I had at Lincoln. I had lots of opportunities to speak to employers and work on projects with them. This made me more confident in the interview. Also, Principal Dr Rona Mackenzie wrote an amazing letter of recommendation for me and really supported me.

A cut above the rest

Katie will be studying a Level 3 NVQ in aeronautical engineering and a Level 3 Diploma. She will be starting two years earlier than the majority of other apprenticeships because she has already undertaken engineering at Lincoln UTC (Cambridge National Technical Level 2).

Studying engineering at Lincoln UTC has meant that I can get started in my career two years earlier than if I’d stayed at my previous school. It’s a great step forward and will help me to become a qualified aeronautical engineer much more quickly.

Lincoln UTC provides a unique learning opportunity for 14-19 year olds. Its curriculum combines core studies in subjects like maths and English, with highly specialist studies in engineering and science. Students can choose from a range of GCSE, A Level and Cambridge Technical qualifications and participate in practical projects and work experience programmes organised by leading employers and Lincoln University, which the UTC is partnered with.

All learning involves academic, technical and practical work-based experiences, helping students to fully prepare for life in employment, in an apprenticeship or at university.

Visit the UTC Lincoln website to find out more.

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