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Gov-backed Institutes of Technology Launches Offering Free Upskilling

Graham Turner

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Institutes of Technology
The UK Government’s initiative seeks to plug skills gaps and boost access to more high-quality training.

Thousands of working adults will soon benefit from free courses that will help them to rapidly upskill or retrain with the launch of Institutes of Technology (IoTs).

Sixty-five short and modular courses will start to roll out from later this month at 10 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) across sought-after STEM subjects.

This will include courses such as Artificial Intelligence, Digitisation of Manufacturing, Digital Construction, Agricultural Robotics, and Cyber Security.

The courses will be a blend of classroom and remote online study, and will vary in length from 50 to 138 hours – giving more adults greater flexibility in how and when they learn, so they can fit it around their lives.

The programmes will be available to working adults aged 19 and over, with priority given to those employed locally to the IoT, in related industries such as digital or healthcare.

The IoTs have worked in partnership with local employers to ensure courses address existing skills gaps, meaning employees from both large and SME businesses will be able to gain in demand new skills or retrain – so they can progress on to higher skilled, higher paid jobs in their area.

Separately, over 100 further and higher education providers have also been awarded a share of £18 million to invest in new equipment, such as virtual reality goggles, therapeutic play equipment for children, and air quality testing equipment that will support them to offer more higher technical training.


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The funding will also help them to boost links with local businesses in key sectors such as digital, construction and healthcare – so employers can tap into the talented workforce they need for the jobs of the future.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Michelle Donelan said: “Making sure more people can train and develop at any stage of their life to secure high skilled, high paid jobs is at the heart of our plans.

“These fantastic new courses will open up more training alternatives for adults, address skills gaps in our economy and level up opportunities across the country.

“We are also investing up to £18 million to support over 100 further and higher education providers to expand the higher technical training on offer to their local communities.”

A total of £6.4 million is being invested to support IoTs to offer the free courses, which will support up to 4,000 working adults to get on the path to a new, rewarding career and will plug local skills shortages.


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Graham Turner

Sub Editor

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