- The Secretary of State for Education visited the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Hub as well as lead GBSIoT partners Solihull College and University centre and Aston University.
- The Secretary of State discussed the opportunities for education institutions to work together to combat skills gaps in the sector
- The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP met GBSIoT Board members, Rosa Wells and Professor Stephen Garrett as well as Aston University students on degree apprenticeship programmes. She then met Principle Rebecca Gater and students at Solihull College and University Centre’s Woodlands campus.
The Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP, the Secretary of State for Education, visited Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Hub on Wednesday 16 November. The day also included visits to Aston University Campus and, Solihull College and University Centre’s Woodlands Campus, two of GBSIoT lead partner institutions.
The Secretary of State toured the new Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) hub, which houses the largest Cyber Physical Manufacturing rig – a scaled down factory of the future – in Europe. GBSIoT Board member Rosa Wells, Executive Dean Engineering, Digital and Sustainable Construction, University College Birmingham, took the Secretary of State on a tour of the Rig, sharing the plan for its integration into curriculum across GBSIoT’s 7 educational partners for use by our GBSIoT learners.
At the GBSIoT Hub she was met by Michael Burke, GBSIoT Operations Director, who spoke to the Secretary of State about our STEM strategy for schools and the necessity to inspire children from a young age in a fun, interactive way, as well as the importance of making the landscape clearer for teachers looking for support in the STEM space. Alongside GBSIoT Board member Professor Stephen Garrett, Executive Dean, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University, he raised our plans to integrate the Rig into outreach to younger learners to provide insight into how a real life work environment looks in 2022.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:
“I was blown away by the cutting-edge training and high-quality apprenticeships on offer at Aston University and Solihull College and University Centre.
GBSIoT is just one of the many IoTs we’re opening to help develop the skilled workers we need to drive growth in a modern, digital economy.
It is a fantastic place to come to learn all about the next generation jobs in advanced manufacturing but also in digital technology and many more skills“
Following the ministers visit to the GBSIoT Hub, she met a wide range of Aston University students, and also degree apprentices who are already in careers, as well as academic staff to discuss their views and experiences of work-based learning.
The minister then continued her tour of GBSIoT educational institutions, visiting the GBSIoT lead, Solihull College and University Centre at their Woodlands campus. Here she was given a tour of the engineering and construction facilities, and was greeted by GBSIoT Board member Rebecca Gater, Principle of Solihull College and University Centre as well as students, apprentices, and partner employers.
GBSIoT Board member Rosa Wells, Executive Dean Engineering, Digital and Sustainable Construction, University College Birmingham, said:
“It is a testament to the partnership working across the region that we have been so successful with our Institute of Technology”
GBSIoT is one of 12 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) currently established across England as unique collaborations between further education colleges, universities and employers to offer technical education and training at higher skills levels in key STEM sectors.
The GBSIoT is designed to create a ‘powerhouse’ for advanced manufacturing and engineering and is a collaboration between further education providers, universities, and employers for the region.
The consortium is led by Solihull College & University Centre, with 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.