College competes for tech investment

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Truro and Penwith College is representing the south west in a bid for a £25 million pound investment to create a South West Institute of Technology, led by the University of Exeter.

The Department for Education (DfE) is awarding £170 million to establish a network of Institutes of Technology nationally, offering training and apprenticeships in higher-level technical skills.

Professor Janice Kay, provost of the University of Exeter, said: “We’re really excited to have moved to the final phase of this exciting competitive process. The South West Institute would play a pivotal role in inspiring people from across the region to be at the forefront of digital technology learning.”

The aim is to bridge skills gaps in the economy by providing the knowledge and training that employers need. The south west proposal would deliver a range of higher level courses across the digital, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

Andy Stittle, director of teaching and learning at Truro and Penwith College, said: “As a lead partner, Truro and Penwith College is excited to bring an Institute of Technology to Cornwall to address skills gaps in key employment sectors.

“This will extend our existing employer engagement and apprenticeship programmes into degree level training, providing economic growth and local career routes into sectors such as engineering, marine, space and aerospace.”

The proposal, which is one of 16 to progress to the final stage, could launch in 2021 if funding is granted and is expected to cost £25 million with £15 million provided by Government and the remaining £10 million made up by the partnership.