Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are a Government initiative to raise the quality and prestige of technical education, enabling it to play a pivotal role in raising growth and productivity in the UK economy and delivering the skills the country needs for the future.
The first wave of twelve IoTs was launched in 2019. In 2020 the Department of Education announced a further £120 million for a second wave of eight IoTs in areas of the country not already covered by the first wave.
The Leicester and Leicestershire bid
The Leicester and Leicestershire bid is one of 13 proposed IoTs to have made it to the second round of consideration for this second wave. Developed by a consortium of partners led by the University of Leicester, the bid is based around the themes of space, engineering, advanced manufacturing and digital skills. Each partner will bring their expertise in supporting the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, which seeks to capture 10% of the global space economy by 2030.
By bringing together Further Education and Higher Education providers with employers, IoTs can deliver the technical knowledge combined with the practical workplace skills that employers are demanding, unlocking the potential of our home-grown talent and ensuring they are equipped with the skills of tomorrow.
As the former Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, I am aware of Leicester’s pivotal role in the history of space technology and innovation and how the institution continues to be at the centre of the UK space industry. It is fantastic that the launch of the new Space Park Leicester will be significantly enhanced by the development of this Institute of Technology. This IoT is the first to develop the space skills pipeline needed to grow the UK space industry and deliver on the UK’s ambition to progress as a global space power.
Benefits of the institute
Benefits for learners
IoTs will play an important role in levelling up skills across the country. They will deliver high quality, higher technical skills, improving learners’ chances of securing jobs that offer higher wages and increased opportunities. This includes widening participation from disadvantaged and under-represented groups by making full use of new technology and innovative models of delivery to provide a responsive and flexible offer that is accessible to all.
Benefits for employers
Employers involved in an IoT collaboration will have the opportunity to ‘home-grow’ their future workforce and upskill their current one, shaping the curriculum to best suit their needs, adopting agile approaches to ensure industry trends are quickly translated into the classroom.
Large and small employers will benefit from having a new type of employer-led institution on their doorstep that can train their current and future workforce.
Benefits for the local, regional and national economy
IoTs will play a key role in helping to level up growth and opportunity across cities, towns and rural areas. IoTs have the potential to strengthen local economies, unlocking a talented pool of people with the skills needed to take advantage of the growth opportunities of the future and deliver the Government’s major infrastructure projects such as hospitals, schools, transport and digital projects.
By working with Leicestershire education partners we will be able to provide a comprehensive, ideal range of experience to ensure this IoT is a catalyst for economic growth and innovation into the future.
All of us at the University of Leicester are very excited to see this joint bid progress to the final stage for Government funding. To reach this stage not only demonstrates the University’s long track record in space science and research, but our commitment to providing skills-based opportunities in Leicester and the surrounding region. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with our education and industry partners as we seek to provide further opportunities in our city.
Benefits of the Leicester and Leicestershire IoT
The Leicester and Leicestershire IoT will give employers, employees, those joining and re-entering the workforce direct access to local educational and development opportunities, it will offer training and education for people who wish to develop or improve their skills in STEM subjects covering the full range of digital and engineering disciplines.
We are delighted to be working with key partners in the IoT joint bid process, and excited to be progressing this to the final stages for Government funding. This IoT will ensure an industry-driven, learner-led approach to deliver the workforce of the future.
The IoT will draw on the University of Leicester’s record of successful space missions to provide the technical training required by the space sector and its supply chain. DMU will feed-in the benefits of its world-leading research and employer-led teaching in cyber and computing.
Through the IoT, local employers will be part of the digital skills agenda that underpins space, engineering and manufacturing. They will also have access to a skilled workforce, while students will gain a clear route to a technical career path with courses supporting them through their development.
The consortium for the Leicester and Leicestershire IoT currently includes:
If you would like to know more about the Leicester and Leicestershire Institute of Technology, please contact IoTLeicester@leicester.ac.uk