From education to employment

Employer insights on cutting-edge research at East London Institute of Technology

Employers met at the East London Institute of Technology (East London IoT) to discuss academic research projects that could be undertaken to support the major developments in the borough.

The East London IoT was opened in 2021 as a collaboration between Barking and Dagenham College, Coventry University and major employers, including TfL, Huawei, ISG (construction) and close relationships with many other employers including the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Institutes of Technology engage with local and national employers to inform curriculum, and to ensure that the institute is equipping local people with skills for existing and emerging roles in the local economy.  

The borough is attracting investment to regenerate and create new jobs in the area as part of the inclusive growth plans. For example, Eastbrook Studios, which are in development, and the relocation of the London food markets to the area. The borough is also investing in sustainability initiatives for its estate, construction, and energy use. 

Jason Turton, Deputy Principal, Barking & Dagenham College explains why the event was important:

“We want to make research relevant, by aligning it to developments within the borough. This event was an important opportunity to gather intelligence on the needs of employers and the borough, so that the research conducted benefits the local area.”

Prior to the event, employers completed a survey about research that would benefit their industry and the wider community. These responses were then discussed with colleagues from Coventry University and the Open University presenting ideas based on their responses.

Over 25 employers attended the event including Be First, CEME, JISC, Final Pixel, and Local London.

Topics discussed included Net Zero and smart cities. 

Discussion points included ways in which we can support smaller companies in our supply chains to invest in retrofit training whilst demand is still being established, the need for a national funded strategy for supporting our industries to embed new technologies, and the importance of people working hand in hand with technological advances to become agents for positive change.

Discussing the need for action, Ann-Marie Laffey, Head of Curriculum Energy Management, Engineering & IEMA at CU London said:

“As we all know, these topics are not niche or something to focus on in the future.  The time is now”.

Darren Rodwell, Leader of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Council said:

“The people in this room, and your collective brainpower will change generations, and support councils to do what they do – support people to make the change they want to see.”

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