This week, the government announced funding for twelve Institutes of Technology to be developed across the UK and the University of Birmingham is honoured to support the programme.

Each Institute of Technology (IoT) will provide young people with specific, high quality skills and vocational training. The training is supported by industry and academic institutions to ensure these participants are able to gain the technical qualifications required to progress their careers within engineering and physical science fields.

The University of Birmingham alongside MET College and University College Birmingham is supporting the Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT led by Solihull College and University Centre. The consortium 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.

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham said: “It is an honour to be a part of such a prestigious programme. We always welcome working with industrial partners and other academic institutions to support the training and development of young people. At the University of Birmingham we are committed to helping address the skills gap in engineering and manufacturing, and I believe the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology will be instrumental in achieving this.” 

John Callaghan, Principal of Solihull College & University Centre added: "We are proud to have been awarded the title of Institute of Technology for our Greater Birmingham and Solihull Collaboration of colleges and universities.  Solihull College & University Centre has committed to supporting this industry through investment in equipment and courses but it is only by working together with our college and university partners that we can make inroads into addressing the skills gaps that employers are telling us about. We are looking forward to working with employers, residents, schools and parents across the region to highlight the exciting career opportunities available within Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering".

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 Greater Birmingham and Solihull 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.”