The University of Birmingham is delighted to announce that the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Consortium has been formally approved as the region’s ‘Institute of Technology’ (IOT).
The IoT aims to transform STEM education by addressing specific technical skills gaps and brings together employers, further education and higher education providers. It will target under-represented learners, giving them a clear progression route from education into technical jobs.
The University is a partner in the consortium, which is led by Solihull College & University Centre with Aston University, Birmingham City University and South and City College Birmingham, BMET College and University College Birmingham.
The IoT will jointly design, develop and widen education and training opportunities to address the latest skills needs of leading-edge employers; the local, regional and national economy; and Government priorities for technical education.
These opportunities will appeal to students taking T or A Levels, adult learners looking for access to further training and those already in employment who want to learn new skills.
Professor Andy Schofield, Head of College of Engineering and Physical Science at the University of Birmingham said: “The IoT is a great opportunity for all further and higher education providers in the region to collaborate in delivering high quality education that will help engineering students find fulfilling jobs when they graduate. I’m proud that the University is a partner and that we are able to lend our expertise to the consortium.”
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.”
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.
Carl Arntzen, Chief Executive Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd said: “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.