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Institutes of Technology celebrate first wave of launch

On Thursday 8th July a nationwide celebration will take place marking the launch of the initial wave of 12 Institutes of Technology.

Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are collaborations between further education (FE) providers, universities and employers. They specialise in delivering higher technical education (at Levels 4 and 5 – equivalent to the first and second year of a degree) with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, such as, engineering, digital and construction.

IoTs focus on the specific technical skills needs required in their local area. They will provide employers with a skilled workforce and students with a clear route to technical employment. By bridging skills gaps, these new institutions will drive growth and widen opportunity.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills said:
“Institutes of Technology are the pinnacle of technical education, helping to develop the highly-skilled talent pipeline employers will need for the future. By bringing together Further Education colleges, universities and businesses, Institutes of Technology are unique partnerships which will help to tackle skills shortages in vital sectors, from marine engineering to healthcare, cyber security to agri-tech. Institutes of Technology are also playing a vital role in our multi-billion Plan for Jobs, which is helping to level up opportunities and support people to get the skills they need to get good jobs as we recover from the pandemic.”

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT has brought together the most innovative education providers within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area with leading industry stakeholders to create a powerhouse for advanced manufacturing and engineering.

The consortium is led by Solihull College & University Centre, Aston University and Birmingham City University, working alongside South and City College Birmingham as a core partner and supported by BMET College, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham. The partnership will jointly design, develop and widen education and training opportunities aligned to the latest skills needs of leading-edge employers and the local, regional and national economy. The group will target under-represented learners, facilitating clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations. In this new video, partners and employers explain what the IoT means to them:

The following passage was included in the recent Government Skills for Jobs white paper, with the GBS Institute of Technology highlighted as an example of good practice:

“Greater Birmingham and Solihull (GBS) IoT is operational and has a curriculum focus on engineering and advanced manufacturing including future developments in industry. It is investing in a cyber physical manufacturing rig, which is the centrepiece of the IoT’s capital investment and will act as a ‘learning factory’ for both learners and employers to engage them in the latest manufacturing technology and help them understand the importance of skills in developing their business and competing in the marketplace. The rig is part of a £9 million Department for Education capital investment across four delivery sites in the Greater Birmingham area. The IoT has strong buy-in and commitments from key local employers like Bosch Thermotechnology and Continental Engineering. An Employer Advisory Board is working with the IoT to develop the curriculum and inform the capital investment.”

Building work has started on the GBSIoT Hub at Aston University. It will be completed at the end of 2021 and will be an innovative hub, providing a fabulous resource for students and learners from across the region.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology is all about two things: economic growth and prosperity. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology is going to give us wonderful new skills in the sectors of the economy that are really growing fast here.”

Mike Hopkins, Principal of South & City College commented: “We are proud to be part of the Institute of Technology for advanced manufacturing and engineering. As well as working in partnership with the other universities and colleges, South & City College has already committed to this industry by expanding our facilities to support training in this sector and has established a centre for engineering excellence at our Bournville College in Longbridge. It has been wonderful to see the first students start on their Foundation Degree in Engineering which started in September; they will seamlessly progress onto the third year of the Engineering degree at the University of Birmingham. This partnership project will ensure that these and any future students benefit from the ever-expanding career opportunities in this sector which in turn will address the skills gaps in the engineering industry.”

Find out more about the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology at