The UK government is launching 12 new Institutes of Technology (IoTs), designed to bridge the technical skills gap between schools and universities.
According to the Department of Education, the IoTs will specialise in delivering quality higher level technical training at Level 4 and 5 in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering. Despite having more than 2 million people engaged in Level 3 (A Levels) and Level 6 (University degree), the UK has just 190,000 students at the intervening levels, and it is this discrepancy that the nationwide project will aim to redress.
“These new Institutes of Technology will be the pinnacle of technical training – new collaborations between universities, colleges and business to make sure young people have the skills they need to build a well-paid rewarding, career, while the economy gains the skilled workers it needs to be more productive,” said Education Secretary Damian Hinds.
“We are transforming technical education including introducing new T Levels from 2020 and more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities. But we want more young people to progress and get the higher level qualifications that lead to high skilled, more rewarding jobs. Institutes of Technology will help employers to get the skilled workforce they need, especially in much sought-after STEM skills and will offer young people a clear path to a great, well-paid career.”
The 12 Institutes will be backed by £170 million of government investment so they have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and will tap into the latest research from their university partners to anticipate the skills needs of the future workplace. They will also benefit from additional support from local employers and partners, who will contribute valuable resources such as further investment, seconded teaching staff and equipment. Companies already onboard include Nissan, Siemens and Microsoft.
“In a world being transformed by technology, today’s students have a wealth of opportunity to create and solve problems through learning and applying computer science,” said Derrick McCourt, general manager, Customer Success Unit at Microsoft.
“The new Institute of Technology we are announcing today will help to provide a much-needed pathway for students to develop their digital skills and practical expertise, which are vital in bridging the shortage in digital skills across the nation.”
The 12 Institutes of Technology will be located at:
- Barking & Dagenham College
- Dudley College of Technology
- Milton Keynes College
- New College Durham
- Queen Mary University of London
- Solihull College & University Centre
- Swindon College
- University of Exeter
- University of Lincoln
- Weston College of Further and Higher Education
- York College