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The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) has reached the final stages of a prestigious awards scheme designed to recognise partnership between education and business.

The MTI has been shortlisted as part of the East Midlands Chamber Leicestershire Business Awards with the winners due to be announced at a gala dinner on 20 September 2019 at Athena in Leicester.

The news was announced at the Chamber President’s Summer Celebration at Makeney Hall in Belper.

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

Marion Plant, initiator and CEO of lead partner said,

“We’re delighted to have reached the final shortlist for these special awards. The MIRA Technology Institute was developed to provide an innovative solution to the problem of skills shortages within the rapidly-changing automotive sector. Working with our education partners in 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 including Tier 1 automotive businesses within the supply chain, and major international corporates.”

Lisa Bingley, MTI Director of Operations said,

“Developments in digital technology inevitably mean that cars will get smarter and become dependent on highly complex computing skills as well as engineering prowess. As we see innovation increasing within the industry, educators need to step up and keep ahead of skills demands to ensure that the future workforce is fit for purpose.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP, said;

“MIRA Technology Institute is the LLEP’s flagship project funded by £9.5m from our Local Growth Fund and I am delighted that they are a finalist in the 2019 Chamber Business Awards for Leicestershire.

“The awards are a great way to raise the profile of exciting and innovative businesses based across Leicester and Leicestershire. Becoming a finalist is a great achievement and recognises the skills development that MIRA Technology Institute is supporting in the automotive sector.”

Marion Plant added, “As lead partner in the development of the MTI, we’re proud to have been recognised in this way as part of the Leicestershire Business Awards and are confident that we can progress further in the competition.”

“I’m delighted that the MIRA Technology Institute is now open and welcoming students at all levels. MTI is an integral part of the long-term planning at MIRA Technology Park, as it will produce a steady stream of highly-skilled automotive engineers for years to come. These individuals will lead the way in automotive engineering, and help to develop new green technologies and artificial intelligence.

“As lead partner, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College will continue to play an instrumental role now that the MTI is open. I’d like the thank the LLEP and BEIS for their support in the realisation of the project. The MTI will help to meet the demand for engineers locally, nationally and globally, and play a major role in future economic growth. Ours is a fantastic model that could easily be extended to other sectors, and we’re excited to see what developments the future brings.”

Project Summary

The ‘MIRA Technology Institute’ (MTI) – a 2,192m2 hybrid building comprising classroom space and workshop/laboratory space – has been built. The new facility forms part of MIRA Technology Park, located near Hinckley, Leicestershire and Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

The MTI can provide accredited training at all levels, with input from transport sector technology experts, and the use of specialised facilities in a world-class commercial engineering environment.

The blend of academic and commercial training gives MTI students a significant advantage in skills development.  The training centre specialises in skill development for the current needs of the industry.

The location of this new facility at MIRA Technology Park enables activity-based learning, and provide real-world applications for skills development. This approach has clear benefits over solely classroom-based learning.

Project Stats

Project sponsors  North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College
LLEP investment  £9.5m
Project status  Complete
Start date  September 2017
Completion date  September 2018

Project Outcomes

New build training / learning floor space  2,191m²
New jobs  11
New learners  2,500 p/a by July 2021 (approx. 7,500 total)
Apprenticeship starts  110 by July 2021
The Training Centre provides an essential solution to the skills and jobs needs in the local and regional area, offering around 2,500 training places each year when fully operational. It will deliver bespoke training aimed at the advanced manufacturing and automotive sectors, ranging from day training courses to two-year specialist post-graduate courses. The location provides opportunities for activity based learning in a real world environment, in a centre of excellence for both specialist and industry required skills. 
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