The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Consortium are delighted to announce that the Secretary of State for Education has formally approved the region’s ‘Institute of Technology’ (IOT).
The government are introducing IOTs across the country to focus on a range of specific technical skills needs, working in innovative collaborations between employers and further and higher education providers.
For the first time, this unique and exciting proposal brings 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, Birmingham City University and South and City College Birmingham as members and supported by BMET College, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham as partners. The IoT will jointly design, develop and widen education and training opportunities aligned to the latest skills needs of leading-edge employers; the local, regional and national economy; and Government priorities for technical education.
The IoT will target under-represented learners, facilitating clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “I am delighted with this announcement and it is fantastic news for the region. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT will boost people’s skills, and offer great courses in the industries where our regional economy is booming. The GBS IoT will help local people gain great qualifications, so they have a better chance of getting a rewarding career in sectors which are growing very quickly. The IoT will also support the introduction of T-levels and help underpin growth in apprenticeships, to support our regional aspiration that everyone has the opportunity to access great training and great careers in the West Midlands.”
Mike Hopkins, Principal of South & City College comments, “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.”
Employers across the region including the West Midlands Combined Authority, GBS LEP, Birmingham City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Aim Higher have contributed to the project and will be essential for the implementation of a successful IoT.
Carl Arntzen, Chief Executive Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd commented that “As Chair of the GBSLEP IOT Advisory Board which has been actively supporting the development of the employer led focus of this IOT, we are delighted to see important investment in the region and to ensure employers can work in partnership with the consortia to address the skills deficit for Advanced Manufacturing businesses.”
The Employer Advisory Board represents a wide variety of sectors. Companies involved include Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd, Salts Healthcare Ltd, Continental Engineering Services, Hydraforce and Alucast.