From education to employment


The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) has won a prestigious award as part of a scheme designed to recognise partnerships between education and business. The MTI was named as the winner in the Education and Business Partnership category in the East Midlands Chamber Leicestershire Business Awards at a gala event at Leicester Tigers.

The MTI is an innovative collaboration between education and industry designed to address skills shortages in disruptive technologies associated with connected and autonomous vehicles and electric cars. The long-established Leicestershire Business Awards celebrate the very best of the region’s thriving business community and its partners.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “We’re delighted to have been named as the winner of this special award. The MIRA Technology Institute was developed to provide an innovative solution to the problem of skills shortages within the changing automotive sector and is now helping it to adapt and respond to the demands of the rapid decarbonisation of road transport.

“Working with our partners in industry and further and higher education, the MTI offers a full spectrum of training opportunities from apprenticeships to bespoke and commercial courses for businesses from across the sector, from SMEs to large organisations. The MTI provides access to a unique skills escalator, enabling progress to higher and degree level apprenticeships and beyond. This means that, for the first time, individuals can start an apprenticeship at Level 2 or above and progress to PhD level with the same training partnership.

“As a dedicated resource for the automotive industry, the training is highly relevant and can be accessed by the full range and size of businesses within the sector from Tier 1 automotive businesses within the supply chain to major international corporates.”

The MTI is the result of a unique collaboration led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and its partners, HORIBA MIRA, Coventry University, the University of Leicester, and Loughborough University. It is helping to create specialist skills in some of the new emerging technology areas including electrification and driverless cars. Since it first opened its doors, the MTI has welcomed over 32,000 students and delegates. This includes over 1,100 studying for accredited qualifications from a Level 1 Institute of the Motor Industry certificate up to Masters’ degrees, and over 700 following apprenticeships at all levels. More than 10,000 automotive professionals have taken part in professional development activities.

Lisa Bingley, MTI Director of Operations said, “The spotlight has never been more firmly focused on the switch to electric vehicles, particularly against the backdrop of COP26 pledges and the UK government’s ambition to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2030.

“As a result, the automotive sector is facing challenges that it has never encountered before including advances in connectivity, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Our role is to help ensure that the sector has access to the skills its workforce needs now and can reinforce these skills to boost its resilience in the future.

“The MTI understands the importance of introducing STEM activities at a young age, inspiring future generations to consider careers in automotive technology. We run several STEM-based events such as TeenTech and speed networking with employers to introduce the sector to over 400 students a year. We’re grateful to the judges, and award sponsor Blueprint Interiors, for recognising the vital contribution that the MTI is making to businesses and individuals across the automotive sector.”

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