Top in the country: Metro Mayor hails institute boosting West of England tech skills

Metro Mayor Dan Norris marked the third anniversary of the UK’s leading technology institute currently supporting more than 800 West of Englanders gain sought-after tech skills next week.

The Metro Mayor spoke at the institute’s birthday celebration event at Bath’s Bailbrook House Hotel on Tuesday at 6pm (Eveleigh Ave, London Road W, Bath BA1 7JD).

Since its launch three years ago, the West of England Institute of Technology has equipped over 1,500 local people with vital tech skills to help get them into better-paid jobs through employer-led training and courses in areas such as digital high tech, health and advanced manufacturing.

From apprenticeships to degree-level courses, the institute is supporting those preparing for their first step into a career, already in employment or wishing to retrain. It is the leading tech institute in the country, delivering 130% above its targets and last month winning a prestigious ‘Gold for Strategic Leadership’ award at an international college and polytechnics awards ceremony.

Collaborations between higher education providers, including the University of the West of England, Bath College and Gloucestershire College, and some of the region’s leading employers, including GKN Aerospace and Airbus, have shaped the high-level skills courses available.

This is important as around half of tech employers say they are experiencing difficulties with a lack of skills. The Metro Mayor said that the current crop of West of England Institute of Technology learners will therefore be in an excellent position to get good-quality, rewarding jobs.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Equipping people with vital tech skills is so important for the West of England, not least in terms of ensuring we reach our net-zero ambitions; when it comes to delivering the green economy of the future, we will have to ensure that we have the green skills of the future. Whether they are just starting out in their career, or are on the hunt for a new challenge, I’m so pleased this brilliant institute – the best in the country, to be precise – are boosting skills and opportunities for locals across the region, helping create the innovators of the future”.

The birthday celebration event on Tuesday showcased and celebrated what the tech institute has achieved in its first three years and shared its exciting plans for the future, including widening the sectors in which programmes are offered to include creative digital, fintech and green skills.

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