The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre is part of a collaboration of educators and employers from South Yorkshire who have successfully secured over £12million to establish a new South Yorkshire Institute of Technology (IoT).
The Department for Education (DfE) made the announcement today as part of the second wave of IoT bids to have funding confirmed by the government.
New employer-led IoTs offer higher level technical education to help close skills gaps in key STEM areas. They are part of the government’s plans to reform technical training to help employers get the skilled workforce they need and offer local people rewarding jobs.
The announcement was welcomed by AMRC Training Centre director Nikki Jones as a significant investment in the region’s skills and people.
She said: “This is fantastic news and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre is very proud to be working in true collaboration with other South Yorkshire educators and employers to help address some of the skills shortages in our region.
“This is about a new and exciting curriculum, driven by employers, that will develop the pipeline of talent businesses need to thrive and prosper in the region, and will give people better opportunities to develop and grow into better-paid, highly skilled careers.”
Professor Dave Petley, vice president for innovation at the University of Sheffield, added:
"This is a brilliant achievement for South Yorkshire. The University of Sheffield is working collaboratively across the region and we are proud to playing a part in bringing more opportunities to address the skills challenges. We look forward to moving forward now to deliver on this exciting ambition."
The South Yorkshire IoT joins Further Education institutions, Higher Education institutions and local employers together to provide pathways from STEM based T-Levels to Higher Technical Qualifications, apprenticeships, and degrees. The IoT will also offer flexible courses for adults looking to reskill or upskill.
The collaboration includes DN Colleges Group, Sheffield Hallam University, Barnsley College, and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre as core education partners. RNN Group, the Sheffield College and the National Centre for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure (NCATI) are also associate partners.
In addition, the core employer partners include AESSEAL PLC, Engie UK, HLM Architects and WANdisco. They will have a place on the Board of the IoT and one of them will be chair.
The South Yorkshire IoT will work closely with employers to provide specialist provision for over 1,500 learners, aiming to meet the demand for construction, digital, engineering/manufacturing, and healthcare science higher level technical skills within the region. The IoT will target key sectors and occupations, making a substantial contribution to increasing the region’s productivity and ability to attract and retain employers with higher-level technical skilled roles.
Mick Lochran, CEO of DN Colleges Group, which has led on the formation of the South Yorkshire IoT, said: “I am so proud that South Yorkshire has been awarded an IoT as it has the potential to change the whole dynamic of our region. The working partnerships, between employers and education providers, has been amazing and provides a sound foundation to deliver a successful IoT.”
Provision will be designed to be accessible to people across the region and target underrepresented groups. Investment will see IoT sites established across the region, including:
- DN Colleges Group will deliver provision from within the existing Doncaster College site,
- Barnsley College will reconfigure and refurbish its existing Church Street building to create a dedicated IoT centre in the centre of Barnsley,
- Sheffield Hallam University will create a dedicated IoT space within the existing campus in Sheffield City Centre,
- The University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre is planning to refurbish and upgrade dedicated space at its Rotherham site with industry-standard digital engineering laboratories.
Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the new IoTs will “boost access to more high-quality and flexible education and training – giving people the chance to learn at a pace that is right for them, while ensuring we have the skilled workforce needed to boost our economy”.
Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This is fabulous news. It shows what collaboration between universities and further education providers can do for the region
“This is a step-change investment in technical education and Sheffield Hallam is delighted to have played our part in securing it. The IoT will drive economic success, build talent and create opportunities.
“We are looking forward to using our expertise in work-based applied learning to make the South Yorkshire Institute of Technology an outstanding success.”
The South Yorkshire IoT is supported by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, all regional local authorities and local Chambers of Commerce.