Greater Birmingham and Solihull awarded prestigious Institute of Technology for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering

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Aston University new campus


The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Consortium are delighted to announce that the Secretary of State for Education has approved their application to create an ‘Institute of Technology’ (IOT). The project has now moved to the ‘pre-award’ stage.

The government are looking to introduce IOTs across the country to focus on a range of specific technical skills needs. They will be created through innovative collaborations between employers and further and higher education providers.

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 consortium is led by Solihull College & University Centre, Aston University and Birmingham City University, working alongside South and City College Birmingham as a Core partner and supported by BMET College, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham.

The partnership 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.

The group will target under-represented learners, facilitating clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor Sarah Hainsworth said:

“I am delighted that the IoT bid in partnership with Solihull College has been successful in the IoT competition.  The new IoT builds on Aston’s strengths and heritage of developing students to work in industry.  The exciting new and innovative curriculum should attract a diverse range of students with the skills for the future advanced manufacturing sector and Industry 4.0.”

Director of Employment & Skills at Solihull College & University Centre, Rosa Wells said:

“We are very excited to see our first IoT learners joining the College’s Woodlands Campus. The College has been committed to developing accessible routes into higher education in Engineering for the region and the success of this project will ensure that our learners benefit from the wonderful career opportunities available to them through closer links to our partners, continued investment in the Campus and an agile and responsive course offer designed with our employer partners.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who in February wrote to Minister of State for Education, Anne Milton MP, in support of the IoT bid, said:

“I am delighted with this announcement and it is fantastic news for Solihull and for the wider West Midlands. 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 and will be essential for the implementation of a successful IoT.

The Employer Advisory Board represents a wide variety of sectors. Companies involved include Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd, Salts Healthcare Ltd, Continental Engineering Services, Hydraforce, Malthouse Engineering Co Ltd and Alucast.

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