Yesterday (4 July), over 130 representatives from across the National Network of Institutes of Technology, including senior representatives from industry partners, principals of colleges and vice-chancellors of universities, and representatives from the Department for Education attended the inaugural Institutes of Technology Conference hosted by Yewande Akinola.
Focused on how Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are building strong partnerships between education providers and employers, the conference provided an opportunity for guests to identify new opportunities for their organisations – at a local and national level - while celebrating the strength of partnerships to date.
During his opening address, David Sainsbury recognised
“We need to ensure every employer looking to upskill their workforce and every prospective learner looking to improve their job prospects know about Institutes of Technology and the courses, apprenticeships and new opportunities they offer.”
Special guest, Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State, joined Sally Brown (Gatwick Diamond Business), Ian Mander (Nord Lock) and Sameer Savani (GKN Aerospace) for the morning plenary session, during which Gillian remarked
"When trying to create a market advantage, skills are the biggest differentiator, and they don't come without a lot of effort. So, trying to get business and education working together is the most important thing. We've got all the pieces in place at the time that the need [for skills] really has been exacerbated and accelerated... I think IoTs are the jewel in the crown"
Conference sessions also explored how these collaborations can improve diversity in the STEM workforce, address the skills needed to meet Net Zero, hasten economic progress, and much more…
Rounding off the conference, Steve Mariadas, Chair of the National Network of Institutes of Technology, focused on the opportunity for collaboration nationally, commenting
“As a family, we are unstoppable.”