Greater Birmingham and Solihull awarded prestigious Institute of Technology for Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology Consortium is delighted to announce that the Secretary of State for Education has formally approved the region’s Institute of Technology (IoT).

The Government is introducing IoTs across the country to focus on a range of specific technical skills needs, working in innovative collaborations between employers and further and higher education providers.

For the first time, this unique and exciting proposal brings together the most innovative education providers within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area with leading industry stakeholders to create a powerhouse for advanced manufacturing and engineering.

The consortium is led by Solihull College & University Centre, Aston University, Birmingham City University and South and City College Birmingham as members and supported by BMET College, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham as partners. The IoT will jointly design, develop and widen education and training opportunities aligned to the latest skills needs of leading-edge employers; the local, regional and national economy; and Government priorities for technical education.

The IoT will target under-represented learners, facilitating clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations.

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said:

“The approval of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology is so important for our region. As a key participant, Aston University is excited to be collaborating with institutions and employers across the West Midlands to create this new centre of excellence in engineering and advanced manufacturing. Building on our existing strengths in these fields, it will enable young people, adult learners and existing employees to develop new skills and secure high-quality jobs in the industries of the future.”

Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University, added:

“As a leading education centre for engineering and advanced manufacturing in the UK and internationally, Aston University is looking forward to working with our partners to establish the IoT as a key strategic asset that equips our workforce with the skillsets required by employers in crucial sectors of the economy.”

Director of Employment & Skills at Solihull College & University Centre, Rosa Wells comments:

“We are very excited to see our first IoT learners joining the College’s Woodlands Campus. The College has been committed to developing accessible routes into higher education in Engineering for the region and the success of this project will ensure that our learners benefit from the wonderful career opportunities available to them through closer links to our partners, continued investment in the Campus and an agile and responsive course offer designed with our employer partners.”

John Callaghan, Principal of Solihull College & University Centre added:

“We are proud to have been awarded the title of Institute of Technology for our Greater Birmingham and Solihull Collaboration of colleges and universities.  Solihull College & University Centre has committed to supporting this industry through investment in equipment and courses but it is only by working together with our college and university partners that we can make inroads into addressing the skills gaps that employers are telling us about. We are looking forward to working with employers, residents, schools and parents across the region to highlight the exciting career opportunities available within Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering”.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said:

“I am delighted with this announcement and it is fantastic news for the region. The Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT will boost people’s skills and offer great courses in the industries where our regional economy is booming. The GBS IoT will help local people gain great qualifications, so they have a better chance of getting a rewarding career in sectors which are growing very quickly. The IoT will also support the introduction of T-levels and help underpin growth in apprenticeships, to support our regional aspiration that everyone has the opportunity to access great training and great careers in the West Midlands.”

Employers across the region including the West Midlands Combined Authority, GBS LEP, Birmingham City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Aim Higher have contributed to the project and will be essential for the implementation of a successful IoT.

Carl Arntzen, Chief Executive Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd commented:

“As Chair of the GBSLEP IoT Advisory Board which has been actively supporting the development of the employer led focus of this IoT, we are delighted to see important investment in the region and to ensure employers can work in partnership with the consortia to address the skills deficit for Advanced Manufacturing businesses.”

The Employer Advisory Board represents a wide variety of sectors. Companies involved include Bosch Thermotechnology Ltd, Salts Healthcare Ltd, Continental Engineering Services, Hydraforce and Alucast.



About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

To find out more about the Institute of Technology or for any enquiries, please contact

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