The UK government has announced that it is rolling out sixty-five short, free modular courses in sought-after STEM subjects at 10 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) across England.
Existing Skills Gap Made Worse
Prior to the pandemic the UK already had a tech skills gap that was been further exacerbated by uncertainty over Brexit and the speed and competition brought about by the scope of the digital revolution in other countries.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and the government hopes that the courses will help people to find jobs in sectors including engineering, digital, and construction.
The free courses will be open 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 government says that the courses will be a blend of classroom and remote online study, and will vary in length from 50 to 138 hours. The subjects covered will include Artificial Intelligence, Digitisation of Manufacturing, Digital Construction, Agricultural Robotics, and Cyber Security.
The classroom part of the free courses will be hosted at 10 of England’s new employer-led Institutes of Technology which have been set up to offer higher level technical education to help close skills gaps in key STEM areas.
There are currently 12 IoTs across England, all of which have employer partners, FE partners (local colleges), and university partners in their local areas. These IoTs are:
Black Country and the Marches IoT
East London IoT
Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT
London City IoT
North East IoT
South Central IoT
South West IoT
Swindon & Wiltshire IoT
West London IoT
West of England IoT
Yorkshire and the Humber IoT
For the full details of the partners and skills specialisms of each IoT, visit this list on the UK government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/institutes-of-technology--2/institutes-of-technology
Could Lead To Higher paid Job In The Local Area
The government says that because the IoTs have work in partnership with local employers, they can ensure that the training courses address existing skills gaps. This could mean that those attending the courses may be able to gain in demand new skills or retrain so they can progress on to higher skilled, higher paid jobs in their area.