It is unfortunate that your article on the latest wave of university technical colleges ("Critics claim technical colleges are going soft", 5 April) made no mention of South Wiltshire UTC's successful application. Our students will learn from engineers who maintain jet engines or design armoured protection for troop carriers, and from world-leading virus and radiation-protection scientists. They will also learn leadership and team skills from specialist army personnel and be stretched by experts from a Russell Group university. We would welcome the University and College Union's advice on toughening up this "soft" curriculum.
As Lord Baker stated in your article, the focus of any particular UTC is driven by the skills that will maximise young people's opportunities in their local area. In some places this will be the technical skills that support service industries, but South Wiltshire is dominated by the defence and protective science industries. These will be the contextual hook within a broad and wide-ranging curriculum and we believe our students will have an advantage in whatever progression route they choose.
Gordon Aitken, South Wiltshire Defence Industries UTC project manager.