Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Celebrates Outreach Success in 2023

In response to the escalating skills gap within the engineering and manufacturing workforce, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) has embarked on developing and expanding it’s outreach strategy in 2023. Recognising the urgent need for skilled talent and a more diversified sector, GBSIoT’s outreach efforts, made possible through collaboration with various organisations, have proven instrumental in shaping the landscape of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. The success of this programme was celebrated yesterday as we brought together colleagues from across our educational institutions, and key organisations in the STEM outreach space to share the GBSIoT 2023 Outreach success and showcase our new VR platform that was completed earlier this year through LEP funding.

The engineering and manufacturing sectors currently grapple with a significant skills gap, underscoring the necessity for proactive measures to cultivate a pipeline of capable professionals. Despite the demand for fresh talent, the sector faces a notable lack of diversity, with underrepresented groups often finding it challenging to break into these fields. GBSIoT acknowledges this critical issue and has positioned its outreach initiatives as a strategic response to bridge this gap.

As the demand for STEM skills continues to rise, GBSIoT recognises the importance of nurturing a workforce equipped with the necessary expertise. Industry forecasts predict that 80% of future jobs will require proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and maths. However, prevailing misconceptions and a lack of exposure contribute to the persisting belief that STEM sectors are not accessible to everyone.

GBSIoT’s outreach initiatives aim to dispel these myths by reaching children at a younger age. The institute believes that early exposure to STEM subjects and hands-on learning experiences can effectively break down barriers and instil a passion for these fields in the minds of young learners. By doing so, GBSIoT is not only addressing the skills gap but also fostering diversity and inclusion in sectors that are integral to our technological future.

This outreach success has been made possible through collaboration with several esteemed organisations, including Creative Hut, Stem Network, educational partners, Millennium Point Trust, Birmingham Careers Hub, and AimHigher West Midlands.

Against this backdrop, GBSIoT proudly announces its outreach success in 2023. The institute’s fully developed strategy has yielded remarkable outcomes, with STEM educational videos amassing over 14,000 views since the summer of 2023. These videos serve as a powerful tool to engage and inspire a broad audience, making STEM concepts more accessible to learners of all backgrounds.

Furthermore, GBSIoT’s commitment to hands-on STEM learning is exemplified by the distribution of educational resources, such as the Lego Spike Prime, to over 2500 learners. This tangible approach ensures that students not only grasp theoretical concepts but also experience the practical applications of STEM in a real-world context.

One of the standout success stories underscores the impact of GBSIoT’s outreach on an individual level. Craig, a Foundation tutor from Solihull College, utilised GBSIoT’s educational kit to assist a student in overcoming challenges related to reading and writing. By introducing a different platform focused on coding, the student not only found a new medium of expression but also discovered a passion for STEM subjects.

In conclusion, GBSIoT’s outreach efforts in 2023 are a testament to the institute’s commitment to addressing the skills gap and fostering diversity in STEM fields. By proactively engaging with educators, learners, and communities, GBSIoT, in collaboration with outreach organisations, is not only shaping the future workforce but also creating an inclusive and innovative landscape for the generations to come.