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Ensure new institutes of technology offer degree level courses, higher-level apprenticeships and bespoke courses

Last updated: 12:23pm 10 January 2019

They will provide courses at degree level and above, specialising in technical disciplines, such as STEM, whilst also providing higher-level apprenticeships and bespoke courses for employers.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.52

Our verdict

The government has pledged to overhaul the existing technical education system to better provide skills required by the country’s employers. One part of this initiative is to establish new institutes of technology in every major city in England. It is hoped these institutions will offer students an alternative pathway to a skilled job alongside more traditional, academic routes. It is the courses which will be offered by these new institutes that this policy refers to.

The government has set in motion the process of establishing these institutes of technology. Stage one of the competition for funding to open an institute is complete and 16 potential providers have been invited to progress to stage two. According to the government’s timetable, the new institutes will open in 2019. Their focus will be on plugging a gap in technical education, specifically offering STEM-related courses (science, technology, engineering and maths). Additionally, the institutes are envisaged to engage with employers, so that the courses and training are suited to match employers’ needs. Furthermore, employers should be able to use their apprenticeship levy funds to finance training and apprenticeships through the institutes.

There is definitely movement towards getting this policy ‘done’, but with the institutes not yet off the ground, it remains ‘in progress’ until we see what courses they actually offer. Follow this policy for updates!

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