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Economy Economy

Create an Institute of Technology dedicated to digital skills

Last updated: 04:20pm 29 November 2019

Britain’s future prosperity will be built on our technical capability and creative flair….. this will be complemented by at least one new institute of technology in the UK, dedicated to world-leading digital skills and developed and run in partnership with the tech industry.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.78

Our verdict

Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are designed to give young people a route to highly skilled jobs without going to university. They are a collaboration between further education providers, universities and employers, focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. IoTs are part of wider changes to technical education – including more apprenticeships and the new T-level qualifications – designed to focus on the “forgotten 50%” who do not go to university. This policy is a promise to open at least one of these institutes with a focus on digital skills.

In April 2019, Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced that twelve IoTs were planned, with £170 million funding for new facilities and equipment. The first were expected to open by September 2019. In line with that announcement, Barking & Dagenham College opened its new IoT for the 2019/2020 academic year in September. Its industry partners are Huawei, Saint Gobain and Transport for London, and it lists among its specialisms “construction and infrastructure, advanced engineering and robotics, creative and digital”.

12 IoTs have received funding with plans for a further eight announced. The pledge was for at least one institute dedicated to digital skills to be developed. Barking and Dagenham College IoT is open and currently offering 19 digital skills-related courses. This policy is ‘done’.

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