Nine new Institutes of Technology have been announced today, with more than 100 short courses to be offered at universities and colleges.
The multi-million-pound investment hopes to boost access to high-quality training and facilities, accelerating training and plugging skill gaps for those pursuing technical careers.
Today’s announcement is part of the government’s skills revolution which aims to level up opportunities and support more people into higher wage employment to boost the economy.
Locations including Blackpool, Derby, Salford and Essex have been added to the ranks, bringing the total to 21 Institutes of Technology across the country.
The Institutes are unique collaborations between employers, colleges and universities that offer high-quality higher technical education and training, spanning across a multitude of areas including aerospace, digital and cyber security, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing.
Close the skills gap
In addition, those who are wanting to upskill or retrain will have more than 100 short courses to choose from, set to begin from September 2022.
The courses last between six weeks to a year, offering an alternative to a traditional three-year degree and allowing learners to work at a pace that suits them.
Ensuring everyone is given the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter their age or life stage, is a vital part of our mission to level up this country – Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary
More than 20 universities and colleges will offer the courses in subjects that currently suffer from skill shortages, such as digital, net zero, education, STEM and healthcare.
Funding for FE
£150 million has also been given to 100 colleges and universities to upgrade their facilities and equipment.
The funding will largely benefit local economies, allowing institutes to tackle regional skill gaps.
The Department for Education has also announced that students studying course including T Levels will benefit from an extra £615 million during the 2022-23 financial year, an 8% funding boost per student.
This includes funding for an extra 40 hours of education per student in a bid to support the learning students lost due to the pandemic, helping young people to continue to access the training they need to succeed in their subject area.
Funding for high cost and high value courses – those that deliver the skills the country needs – will also see an increase.
“These measures, including our new short courses and nine new Institutes of Technology, will boost access to more high-quality and flexible education and training – giving people the chance to learn at a pace that is right for them, while ensuring we have the skilled workforce needed to boost our economy,” said Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi.
Specialist theatre and performance provider Rose Bruford College was one of the recipients of the capital funding, winning £1.9 million do develop its Centre for Digital Production, which was opened in 2020 and offers students the chance to develop skills in virtual theatre and digital content design, using virtual reality, mixed reality and motion capture technology.
Vice-principal Mary Oliver said: “This investment ensures that our graduates will be driving the future of theatre and screen production, able to enter employment across a much greater range of industry settings as a result of the technological convergence between our different media and technology practices”.
Nottingham College will also benefit from funding, which they will dedicate to expanding their training within a new Laboratory Science and Innovation Centre. Roehampton University also plans to deliver a new Healthcare hub with the help of their funding, to support technical apprenticeships and flexible modular training.
A total of 100 successful FE and HE providers will lead projects to modernise facilities as part of the Office for Students’ Strategic Priorities Grant.
A further 12 projects totalling £16 million supported by wave three of the T Level Capital Fund have also been announced today, bringing the total to 77 projects that will provide new buildings and facilities for students studying T Levels from September 2022.
Successful projects include UTC South Durham, who dedicated funding to include two engineering workshops and an IT suite in an extension of their engineering hall.
The Autumn Budget earlier this year saw the Chancellor announce an extra £1.6 billion investment in 16-19 education and training by 2024-25, compared with the 2021-22 financial year.
Today, the Department for Education has released details specifying how £615 million of that funding will be invested during 2022.
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