Solihull College & University Centre and its partners involved in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Technology were delighted to see the project referenced in the recently published Government Skills for Jobs white paper.
This white paper sets out reforms to post-16 technical education and training to support people to develop the skills needed to get good jobs and improve national productivity.
Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, laid out the reasons for the white paper, highlighting the importance of employers and colleges working together to create skilled workforces for the local economy. He stated: “This White Paper aims to strengthen links between employers and further education providers. We will place employers at the heart of defining local skills needs and explore a new role for Chambers of Commerce and other business representative organisations working with local colleges and employers. The courses offered by providers will be tailored to meet the skill needs of businesses.”
The following passage was included in the 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.”
Executive Director Employment & Skills and IoT, Rosa Wells, commented: “As the lead College for Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Technology (GBS IoT), we are delighted to have informed the recent Skills White Paper demonstrating that our commitment to developing an agile, industry informed curriculum offer is at the forefront of the Government Skills Agenda.”