West London Institute of Technology (@WestLondonIoT) marked its first Anniversary with a Virtual Celebration event. 

This event showcased and celebrated what WLIoT has achieved in its first year and beyond, including sharing plans for the future.  

WLIoT is one of just 12 Institutes of Technology licenced by the UK Government to provide employer-led higher technical education and training at Levels 4 and 5 (equivalent to up to the first two years of an undergraduate degree). The IoT, which was supported with £8.6m Government funding, offers courses in Digital, Engineering and Construction subjects.

Highlights of the event included:

  • Presentations from: 
    • Boris Johnson MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip and Prime Minister. 
    • Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills.
    • Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, GLA.
    • Steve Cochran, Vice Chair for HCUC.
    • Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal and CEO for HCUC; and Pat Carvalho Deputy CEO of HCUC and the development lead on WLIoT.
  • A Virtual Tour of the remodelled workshops, learning and breakout spaces.
  • First Year Highlights: Led by WLIoT Anchor Partners Brunel University London, Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business.
  • Student Awards: Announcing winners for employer-set mini-projects 2020 - Heathrow, MTC (Material Technology Centre) Ltd and Palo Alto Networks. Brunel University London PhD students were also involved in the supervision of mini projects. 

Around 100 guests included employers, students and staff, and other stakeholders and supporters, attended the event.

Boris Johnson said: “Higher technical qualifications are more important than ever, with the impact of Covid 19 affecting individual jobs and businesses. I know West London IoT will continue to inspire individuals from all ages, genders and backgrounds to consider the opportunities and benefits of taking their studies higher.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, said: “Congratulations to West London Institute of Technology for all that it has achieved in its first year. I know this will be the first of many years of success, helping students and employers get access to the high level skills they need to succeed.

“Institutes of Technology are the pinnacle of higher technical STEM education and training in many key sectors including digital, construction and engineering.  By bringing together FE colleges and universities with employers, IoTs are uniquely placed to unlock home-grown talent, ensure learners are equipped with the skills of tomorrow, and play a key role in helping to rebuild the economy after the pandemic.”

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, said: “The role of technical education is more important now than ever.  IoTs delivering this will be key platforms to take the agenda forward, by enabling employers and higher education partners to be truly at the heart of shaping what FE can do for our local communities.”

Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal and CEO of HCUC, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating a solid start to this exciting new facility at HCUC in the shape of West London Institute of Technology, and to have the support of our local MP Boris Johnson for this event as well as Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, and Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills at the GLA. Our first anniversary celebration is another great opportunity to find out more about the higher level opportunities in Technical training on offer to students across west London and to have a look at our wonderful new learning areas, albeit virtually.” 

The celebration event came just days after publication of the Further Education Skills for Jobs White Paper, which outlines Government proposals to support people to develop the skills they need to get good jobs. The White Paper includes a range of measures already underpinned by the Institute of Technology agenda and WLIoT, with programme design being employer led to ensure the development of the right blend of work-ready and  higher level technical skills, supported by outstanding teaching.

WLIoT, which was launched in September 2019, is led by the merged college group HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College) and run in collaboration with its anchor partners. Subject to Covid restrictions, on-site delivery is focussed in its remodelled workshops and learning space on Uxbridge College’s Park Road site in Uxbridge, with courses also being delivered in established professional skills workshops and classrooms on the campus. Courses are also run at Uxbridge College’s Hayes campus and at Harrow College, and will also be taught at Brunel University London campus from next year. 

IoTs are aimed at tackling the skill gaps within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector, and boosting opportunities for students, trainees and Apprentices to achieve the higher technical qualifications and industry skills demanded by employers.

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