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Andy Correy (Chair of the SWIoT Board) and Professor Janice Kay (Provost of the University of Exeter)

Multi-million pound SWIoT partnership celebrated at special event

Key members of the technical education community gathered to celebrate the launch of the South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT).   

After two years of building and equipping state-of-the-art facilities, SWIoT hosted the event in the House of Lords to convey how this will change the delivery of digital and engineering skills. 

During the event, held on March 21st, leading individuals shared their excitement about the opportunities SWIoT will bring to the region. 

SWIoT is a unique collaboration between a number of partner organisations, including the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Bridgwater & Taunton College, City College Plymouth, Exeter College, Petroc and Truro & Penwith College, each investing in the development of state-of-the-art facilities for training in technical subjects to create Britain’s next generation of highly skilled technicians and engineers.

The SWIoT also draws on expertise from a group of ‘anchor employers’ who will lead its strategic direction and ensure focus on the latest industry skills – they include Oxygen House and the Met Office in Exeter, Babcock in Plymouth and TDK Lambda in Ilfracombe.

Catering for up to 2,500 students in apprenticeship and full-time courses, from post-16 to Masters degree level, the SWIOT’s combined facilities match the best available in the UK and help put the South West region at the forefront of digital and engineering education.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive University of Exeter, said: “The launch marks a major milestone in establishing the South West Institute of Technology; bringing together our region’s outstanding colleges, leading universities and some of our strongest businesses to deliver the skills our economy needs today and into the future. We are working in partnership to deliver critical technical skills for our digital and engineering sectors, as well as new opportunities for additional growth, better jobs and stretching prosperity across our community”.

Andy Correy, Chair of the SWIoT Board and Head of Production at Babcock, said “This is great news for the South-West and offers exciting new opportunities and facilities for those wishing to develop technical knowledge, skills and careers in the region. It forms a truly collaborative approach between HE, FE and leading employers who are all focused on ensuring this provides world class technical education and training, enabling it to become the leading region for digital, engineering and manufacturing technologies”

Baroness Alison Wolf CBE, said: “Getting post-16 skills right is critical to the future of the country. The examples of innovative skills delivery we have already seen in the South West are exactly what we hope that IoTs will deliver everywhere. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of SWIoT, not only in the region but across the UK”

The SWIoT is one of 12 Institutes of Technology with more coming on stream, located across the country in a unique collaboration between a number of partner organisations, developing state-of-the-art facilities for training the next generation of highly skilled technicians and engineers.  Over the next few years, we will be expanding our employer collaborations and skills training – and we look forward to engaging in discussions with potential partners for lifelong learning and training.

Date: 23 March 2022

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