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Apprenticeship Minister to launch West of England Institute of Technology

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, will be ‘virtually’ opening the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) on Thursday (8th October).

 

The official WEIoT launch will be a virtual event, which brings together all the education institutions and employers that have been involved bringing it to its fruition.
 
In 2019 the first Institutes of Technology (IoT) were selected through a government-led competition and 12 were awarded – the WEIoT was one of these.
 
The WEIoT is a consortium of education providers and key employers across the West of England. It has been led by Weston College and includes the University of the West of England, Bath College, Gloucestershire College, and Yeovil College as well as a network of key local employers, including; GKN Aerospace, Airbus, GE Aviation, Renishaw, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust, St Monica Trust, Jisc, Mayden Academy, National Composites Centre (NCC), North Somerset Council, Leonardo, Rolls Royce and Bamboo Technology.
 
Speaking ahead of her visit, the Apprenticeships Minister said: “I’m looking forward to launching the West of England Institute of Technology and speaking to some of the employers, including GKN Aerospace Services Limited, Mayden Academy and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, who have worked so hard to bring it to life.
 
“Institutes of Technology will be the pinnacle of technical training, offering higher technical STEM education and training in key sectors, such as advanced manufacturing and engineering, construction and infrastructure, and digital which will be even more important as we build back better from the pandemic. By collaborating with businesses, IoTs can deliver the technical knowledge and practical workplace skills employers are demanding – like nowhere else.
 
“I’m excited to speak to students and staff about the opportunities the IoT will offer them and the wider benefits it will have for the wider community.”
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and Chief Executive of Bath College, commented: “Bath College is delighted to be part of this ground breaking initiative. The opportunities this will bring to our students through the collaboration with employers and fellow Colleges and university is significant as it brings together the expertise of industry, state of the art resources and strength and depth of Further Education skills delivery. This will be of huge benefit to Bath and North East Somerset, as well as the whole wider region.”

 
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, commented: “We are thrilled to be launching the WEIoT, and to welcome the Minister to witness the investment that this initiative is bringing. The WEIoT will significantly influence skills development and innovation on both a regional and national basis and the WEIoT strength is working collaboratively with other institutes and employers.”
 
In December 2019, the consortium appointed Claire Arbery as the Director of the WEIoT. Claire has been pivotal to the mobilisation of the project, Claire commented on the importance of the investment for the area: “The WEIoT funding has created opportunities for the educational partners to invest in cutting edge technology to provide their learners and employers with facilities to drive forward the developments needed to help build recovery. The focus on technical skills and education offered by the collaborative approach will bring wider benefits and the IoT will be able to support learners who may not have thought that higher level skills training was for them using our digital connectivity to its full potential.”

 
The West of England Combined Authority has also contributed £500.000 towards the project, and this funding has been used to support the digital capability toolkit for the WEIoT, so that all FE partners can be upskilled to deliver digital lessons.

www.weiot.ac.uk
 

 

Apprenticeships, Events, News

Bath College Apprenticeships & Jobs Fair huge success as 1,600 people attend

 

1,600 people had the chance to network with employers at the Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair on Wednesday at The Assembly Rooms.
 
There were over 90 stands of prospective employers at the fair, which was attended by schools, college students, young people, parents and members of the public.
 
The Mayor and Mayoress of Bath attended the event and spoke to College staff, local businesses and current apprentices about opportunities.
 
The Mayor, Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, commented that the fair was “informative, friendly and encouraging” after discussing the differences between levels of apprenticeships, going all the way up to post-graduate at Level 7.
 

Bath Building Society, B&NES, Creative Bath, Barratt Homes and Curo all sponsored the event and had stands in the Octagon room.
 
Students and businesses alike found the event very useful, with plenty of promising conversations taking place.
 
There was a lot of activity on social media, with exhibitors all using the hashtag #BathAJF.
 
Deeley Group commented: “We’ve been blown away by the interest today from Bath College students who are polite and courteous! We have a Mixed-Use Development in Bath starting on site later this year and we would also like the local supply chain to get in touch.”
 

 
B&NES Council commented: “Yesterday we were at the Bath College Apprenticeship & Jobs fair, we even had some of our own Apprentices helping on our stand – it was a fun day, we had good chats with a lot of people.”
 

 
Bristol Port commented: “Great to meet so many potential apprentices of the future Bath College Apprenticeship & Jobs Fair.”
 

 
Nick, from a Bath based company that exhibited at the event, took on an apprentice following last year’s Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair. He said: “Pivoting our recruitment strategy to Apprenticeships has been a revolutionary shift for our company.
 
“There is quite simply no way that we would have grown to the stage that we are without the support of the National Apprenticeship Service, and our Apprenticeship provider.
 
“I could not recommend apprenticeships highly enough as a strategy for recruitment, training and growth.”
 
His apprentice, Oliver, commented: “Having an apprenticeship has allowed me to not only work within my field of interest, but to earn money and develop my professional skills with a well reputed company.
 
“I would highly recommend considering an apprenticeship to anyone looking for post GCSE or A level prospects.”
 

 
Bath College is the largest provider of apprenticeships in Bath and North East Somerset. If you would like any information about the apprenticeships the College has to offer, click here.
 

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