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New tech institute to offer learning for all ages

A new educational institute in Greater Manchester is set to welcome engineering learners from 2023, with research showing that less than half of engineering recruits UK-wide have the skills they need.

Led by by the University of Salford, the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology (GMIoT) will bring together a number of colleges and employers in the city region and will specialise in construction, engineering, health and digital skills. It will target both school and college leavers as well as older learners looking to upskill or retrain through a range of Higher Technical Qualifications and apprenticeships.

The partners – University of Salford; Ada, the National College for Digital Skills; Bury College; Tameside College; Wigan & Leigh College; GCHQ; Laing O’Rourke; Siemens; and Talk Talk – had been working on the proposal for 18 months as part of the government’s flagship IoT programme, designed to spearhead the delivery of sorely needed higher technical education in STEM subjects.

According to the latest research from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), less than half of new engineering recruits have either the necessary technical or soft skills employers say they need. Simon Edwards, the IET’s Director of Governance and External Engagement, said:

“The emergence in engineering companies of new roles with a change to the skill-set required has meant we are seeing a sustained skills gap that will continue to grow unless government and industry take action. Workers are in high demand but we don’t have [the] readily available recruits with the right skills to fill the labour market.”

It is envisaged that new students will begin enrolling at the GMIoT from September 2023 at hubs across Greater Manchester.

Jo Purves, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Development at the University of Salford, said: 

“We are delighted that we’ve been successful in our efforts to bring an Institute of Technology to Greater Manchester. The GMIoT will make a valuable contribution to the education and skills system in our city region and offer residents of all ages new routes into high skilled, high paid jobs.”

Justin Kelly, Skills Lead at Greater Manchester’s Local Enterprise Partnership and Director of Communications and Business Development at Siemens UK, added:

“We know there’s a huge demand for technical skills in STEM sectors that needs to be met. The IoT will play an important role in helping people upskill and reskill in areas where employer demand is high, which in turn helps businesses grow, innovate and become more productive. We’re ready to play our part in making it a success.”

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