Sleaford area students attending Grantham College look set to benefit as the educator has been told it is to receive a £2.7m investment to expand facilities and equipment for Higher Education and Skills in Engineering and Digital.
Grantham College is part of a collaboration of Lincolnshire Further Education Colleges and the University of Lincoln working together to create an Institute of Technology focussed on delivering higher level technical education with a clear route to high skilled employment.
The University of Lincoln has led a collaborative bid with regional employers and colleges to establish an Institute in Lincolnshire which will specialise in agri-tech, food manufacturing, energy, digital and engineering.
The overall investment from the DfE is likely to be approximately £15m.
The University of Lincoln’s bid was one of 12 successful applications to receive a share of a £170m fund to improve HE facilities around the country.
Principal and Chief Executive Paul Deane said: “I am delighted with the success of this bid and would like to congratulate everyone involved for their hard work.
“The Lincolnshire IoT will be a landmark commitment, creating a step change in the productivity of Lincolnshire - involving approaching £37m of investment. The £15m of resources from the DfE as capital funding will be complemented by £21m of investment through its partners.
“I would like to thank local employers for their tremendous support for this bid; they understand that this investment will be critical in supporting us to help fill their skills gaps and drive improvements in productivity in the future.”
Work at the college is to commence immediately, with the first student intake in September later this year. In addition, Stonebridge House in the town is to be redeveloped with completion of the state-of-the-art facilities in September 2020.
Assistant Principal for Higher Education, Dr Steven Peacock, added: “Grantham College will use the funding to refurbish Stonebridge House creating a facility that blends the historic character of this beautiful building with the modern high-tech facilities required to support the creation of the engineers and digital experts of the future.”
Grantham College is now recruiting for IoT link tutors in Engineering and IT – contact the college’s HR department at email@example.com for more details.
An Institute of Technology is a prestigious and high quality employer-led institution delivering higher level technical education with a clear route to high skilled employment. The aim is to help close skills gaps and improve productivity.
IoTs will be a new type of institution, tailored to focus on the specific technical skills needs in their area. They will be created through innovative collaborations between employers and FE and HE providers; harnessing the teaching expertise of HE and FE, research expertise of HE, and industry knowledge and expertise from employers.
They will specialise in technical disciplines, particularly STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at levels 3 (up to a limit of 20 per cent of overall provision) 4 and 5, but also extending to degree level and above (level 6+) to strengthen routes into higher levels of technical education, as well as directly into employment. The cohort of an IoT would include young people, but also older learners who may be in employment already.
Only recently Kay Pryszlak, Managing Director of Billingborough’s Bernard Holmes precision engineers was highlighting the current skills shortage in engineering and was appealing for more trained staff. She was working with InvestSK to develop a recruitment brochure with other local firms called Engineered In Grantham.
She explained: “This skills shortage is felt by all engineering companies, but as our work is so highly skilled we struggle more than most.
“As MD I feel it is my job to promote engineering as a career choice in this area.”
Prime Minister Theresa May announced the Institutes on Wednesday and said: “I firmly believe that education is key to opening up opportunity for everyone - but to give our young people the skills they need to succeed, we need an education and training system which is more flexible and diverse than it is currently.
“New technologies are transforming the world of work, and to harness the opportunities on offer we must equip our future workforce with the technical skills they need to thrive, and that the economy needs to grow.”
Professor Toby Wilkinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University Lincoln, said: “We are delighted to have progressed to the final stage in our collaborative bid to establish a Lincolnshire Institute of Technology.
“By bringing together anchor employers and further education colleges from across Greater Lincolnshire with the University of Lincoln, supported by the Local Enterprise Partnership, we have developed a compelling case for capital investment in new facilities to provide higher-level technical skills to learners across the county.
“Our region has a proud record of delivering new innovation and skills in science, engineering and technology; we believe the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology will further add to the range of opportunities available to young people and adult learners, transforming skills and enabling local businesses to grow and succeed.”
The University of Lincoln has led a collaborative bid with employers and FE colleges across Greater Lincolnshire to establish a Lincolnshire Institute of Technology which will specialise in agri-tech and food manufacturing, energy and engineering, with a unifying digital theme. The successful Lincolnshire Institute of Technology bid brings together the University of Lincoln, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, DN Colleges Group (North Lindsey College), Bishop Burton College (Riseholme College), Boston College, Grantham College, Lincoln College, Lincoln UTC, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd, Bakkavor Plc and Olympus Automation Limited, with the support of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership and CATCH.