The 16 providers in the final stage of the government’s competition to open Institutes of Technology have been revealed.

Their names have been published today alongside the Department for Education’s response to its T-level consultation.

Successful providers should have been notified in early May whether their bids for a share of £170 million had made it to stage two, but the DfE fell behind schedule.

Among the successful is a consortium led by Milton Keynes College, which had put in a bid for £18 million of funding to develop an IoT at Bletchley Park, the former home of a World War Two codebreaking centre, as reported by FE Week reported in March.

The proposal, which also included Microsoft, City & Guilds and Cranfield University among others, would see 1,000 learners a year taught fields such as network engineering, applications development, intelligent systems, games development and cybersecurity.

“The government is creating a network of prestigious Institutes of Technology across the country,” the DfE said.

“IoTs will offer top-quality training and apprenticeships in higher-level technical skills – A-level equivalent up to degree level and above – helping to bridge a vital skills gap in our economy in areas like advanced manufacturing, infrastructure and digital.”

IoTs, which were first mooted back in 2015, are intended to bring FE and HE providers together with employers to deliver technical skills training, with a particular focus on levels four and five.

According to application guidance from the DfE, they will offer “higher-level technical skills on a par with more academic routes” and will “achieve the same level of prestige as universities”.

Between 10 and 15 of the institutes are expected to be created. The successful proposals are expected to be announced by the end of the year, with the first one due to open in September 2019.

The 16 Institute of Technology proposals moving forward to the final stage:

University of Exeter

South Essex College of Further & Higher Education

Queen Mary University London

Weston College of Further and Higher Education

York College

Milton Keynes College

West Suffolk College

Newcastle College Group

University of Lincoln

Barking & Dagenham College

New College, Durham

Harrow & Uxbridge Colleges

North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College

Solihull College

Dudley College of Technology

Swindon College

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