A NEW employer-led Institute of Technology (IoT) for greater Birmingham and Solihull has been formally approved by the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson.
The government began introducing IoTs across the country in September 2019 to focus on a range of specific higher level technical skills at (Levels 4 and 5) with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, such as engineering, digital and construction in collaboration with further education providers, universities and employers.
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.”
The news has been met with delight by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Consortium – 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.
A spokeswoman for Solihull College & University Centre said: “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 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.
It will target under-represented learners, enabling clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations.
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 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.”