Key business community figures put their support behind West London Institute of Technology at its dynamic Preview Launch, which marked early student and partnership successes, and showcased exciting £8.6m plans for its development.

Heathrow, Berkeley Group, Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, Atkins Global and Constellium UK presented the Sector Project Awards 2019, which recognised student achievements in innovation and skills, developed through a range of technical and creative challenges designed and supported by the employers. 

The prestigious West London IoT, which opened in September, is one of just 12 IoTs currently licenced nationally to provide higher technical qualifications in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector. Engineering, Construction and Digital Technologies are among some of the core areas being served by its high-quality employer-led education and training in West London.

Dozens of local and regional employers, community organisations and other supporters attended the event, getting a chance to network and hear from the IoT’s anchor partners Brunel University London, Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business. They also viewed a new 3D video fly-through animation from Project Manager Robert Drury, showcasing plans for the extensive new facilities and accommodation being developed in the multi-million-pound fit-out at Uxbridge College’s site in Park Road, Uxbridge. 

Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal and CEO of HCUC, said: “Our preview launch was a great way of marking the start of this pioneering initiative and to celebrate some of West London IoT's early successes, and the Sector Project Awards 2019 reflected just how exciting it has been to immerse our new cohort in real-world work experience from the outset. I have every confidence that HCUC’s strong track record of student achievement - one of the key factors in having won the IoT commission - will continue to support high quality teaching and learning as the institute grows."

Pat Carvalho, Deputy CEO of HCUC, said: “The strength of the anchor partnership between HCUC and Brunel University London, Heathrow, Fujitsu and West London Business is key to the ground-breaking work we are now putting into play with West London Institute of Technology students.  A key feature of our prestigious partnership is the dialogue between the knowledge and expertise of our wider employer network and this IoT, creating a curriculum and talent pool fit to deliver the higher technical skills employers tell us they really need. This event showcased all this brilliantly.”  

Teaching and development of the higher technical qualifications - equivalent to university undergraduate study levels - at the IoT based at Uxbridge College, is being backed by hundreds of employers. Led by the merged college group HCUC, the IoT is an alliance with higher education and employers. The full range of IoT courses is being provided across sites at Uxbridge College and Harrow College.

Partners and other support employers help drive the content of the qualifications, provide placements and masterclasses, and give students the chance to work on real projects in their workplaces.

The Sector Project Awards were presented to the winning students, who have been working on their challenge briefs during the IoT’s first term after it opened its doors in September. Briefs for the HNC and HND students included: Morgan Sindall Infrastructure - developing a model of success for construction industry when working with local authority and community; The Berkeley Group - coming up with a combined heating and power system (CHP) for Southall Waterside Development; Heathrow - improving security for Biometric Check-in Solutions; Atkins Global and University Tech Centre, Constellium Ltd - to present an emerging ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) problem for a specific domestic or commercial or industrial sector. 

Attendees on the night included Buckinghamshire College Group, Vyners School, Balfour Beatty, the Community Coding Club, Frazine Johnson Solicitors, Hillingdon Council, Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce, Hounslow Chamber of Commerce, Hayes Town Partnership, Pearson UK, PwC, KSBC plc and mmd web. IoT students, and staff developing, supporting and providing the IoT and its technical offer also attended.

Our thanks to the following for agreeing to speak at the event: Michael Heanue from the GLA, Prof Stefaan Simons from Brunel University London, Bally Grewal from Heathrow, Andrew Dakers from West London Business, and Ash Merchant from Fujitsu.

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