Colleges collaborate to create Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology

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A number of colleges and two Universities are to collaborate in the development of the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology, aimed at offering employers’ workers with higher skill levels.

It will be one of a number of IoTs nationally, which are being funded by the Department of Education and are designed to increase higher level technical skills for employers.

It will deliver new courses in precision agriculture to ensure students learn the skills needed for successful careers in modern farming.

Bill Meredith, Chief Executive and Principal of Bishop Burton College, said: “This is wonderful news. The college is already the home of land-based education and training in the region but this new investment will take that to a new level.

“It will give us the opportunity to deliver programmes of study using the latest cutting-edge technology to produce a highly skilled workforce. This will have a really positive impact on the economy.”

Helen Wooldridge, Assistant Principal at East Riding College said, “We are so pleased to see our collaborative bid succeed in attracting extra investment in skills training in the region.  What this means for the East Riding is investment that will see the future workforce acquiring higher level skills in the engineering and technical sector that employers in our area demand, and for which there is a projected skills shortage.”

Alison Birkinshaw, Principal of lead applicant York College said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Further and Higher Education providers to develop this prestigious Institute of Technology.  This is a once in a generation, transformational opportunity which will focus on developing higher level technical skills across the York, North Yorkshire, East Riding and North Humberside area.  The work we do will be supported by significant capital investment and will improve the level of skills, increase productivity, and make a real difference to the success of the region.  We are hugely grateful to our employer partners for their support in putting together this bid and are really looking forward to making our plans a reality.”

The Yorkshire and Humber IoT will bring a total investment of circa £10million of capital funding into the region for partners to invest in industry-standard equipment and provide higher level technical training.

This training boost will enhance employment opportunities for students and ensure there are highly qualified employees for the region’s businesses.

Bishop Burton will partner with York College, Askham Bryan College, Craven College, East Riding College, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, Selby College, the University of Hull and the University of York St John.

The joint bid to become an IoT received significant levels of employer support, which was instrumental in its success. Companies including VISR, CATCH, Skipton Building Society, GB Recruitment and ENGIE Fabricom recognised the need for investment in education to address their wider skills shortages.

All have been signed up as employer partners to be involved in designing the curriculum, supported by research from the universities. These employers will be part of the governance of the IoT to ensure continued collaboration and long-term benefits for the region.

Mr Meredith added: “It is important that employers have been involved in this process. It means we will be able to address any skills gaps that exist, whilst giving students the opportunity to launch exciting and rewarding careers.”