At the centre of the North East Institute of Technology

New College Durham has been awarded the licence to operate as an Institute of Technology (IoT), one of only twelve Institutes across the country. As we celebrate Love Our Colleges Week this week, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on why the North East Institute of Technology is such a good opportunity for both the college and the region...

 

What are Institutes of Technology?

They are collaborations between Further Education colleges, universities and businesses. They are designed to work as partnerships, developing the higher-level technical skills and qualifications that employers really need both for now and the future. The Institutes focus on technical subjects across a range of industries, and are regionally focussed for the particular skills needed in that area. The North East Institute of Technology (NEIoT) will focus on advanced manufacturing and engineering, construction and digital.

 

Andy Broadbent, Principal and Chief Executive at New College Durham explains why New College Durham applied

“At New College Durham we believe it’s vital to work closely with local employers, building relevant educational programmes that develop the skills, behaviours and knowledge that employers really need. The NEIoT will support regional development and ensure our students are highly employable once they have completed their courses.

“The Institute of Technology status, the partnership across the region and the funding that has accompanied it, means we are able to do even more in this area. We can bring an even bigger focus to higher level technical programmes for both students planning to start out in their careers or those already in employment wanting to extend their knowledge and qualifications.  We are thrilled to have been awarded the licence, it will make a real difference to the region.”

 

Mark Anderson, Vice Principal at New College Durham explains who the partners are and their roles

“New College Durham have led the application as lead further education partner, but this is a collaborative project. We have worked closely with our anchor research partner Newcastle University and anchor employer partners Nissan and Esh Group.

“Newcastle University will establish an advanced manufacturing facility for student research projects and company trials based upon state-of-the-art manufacturing systems. Esh Group and Nissan will provide advice and support informing curriculum developments that will shape the future of their specific industries.

“We are also working closely with a group of FE colleges in the region who will be delivering NEIoT supported courses at their campuses, all with a focus on higher level technical training.”

 

From an employer’s perspective, Ian Green, Senior Controller/Section Manager at Nissan gives his opinion on why the NEIoT is so important to the region and why Nissan were keen to be involved

 “The NEIoT is the first new major investment in skills in a region which desperately needs support and which will help bridge the gap between university and colleges, driving up the quality offering for the entire region. The collaboration of local colleges and the university research partner gives a unique opportunity to develop and share best practices across a wide area of need.”

“The advanced manufacturing sector is seeing the fastest growth of technological change and subsequent demand for higher level skills. It is essential that we work with the Further Education sector to ensure the skills offer can fill the growing demand. For the automotive sector we expect changes in the next ten years, creating unprecedented demand for skills. This will potentially be the fastest and highest it has been since the invention of the car as we move into electrification and autonomous drive.”

“We want to use our position as one of the largest private employers and largest OEM’s in the region to help shape the skills offer for the entire area. The skills we need moving forward are transferable across a wide range of sectors and we want to give the young people in the area the best possible opportunities to take advantage of the changing demands within the labourmarket.”

 

This is an exciting time for all the partners involved in the NEIoT, and as we participate in Love Our Colleges Week this week, Andy Broadbent wraps up with what this means specifically for us as a college

“Our Stem Centre which will be home to the NEIoT at New College Durham. It’s been purpose-built, includes state-of-the-art equipment for advanced manufacturing and will soon be complete with the latest technology to deliver built environment programmes. Our students and employer partners can expect to see the benefits of industry standard facilities that will make a real difference to skills development, brought together under the banner of the NEIoT.”

To find out more about the NEIoT and our IoT courses available visit our NEIoT section.