No plans for new ‘elite’ technical colleges, skills minister suggests

Robert Halfon says PM refers to existing Institutes of Technology in education plans

Robert Halfon says PM refers to existing Institutes of Technology in education plans

There are no plans for brand new “elite” technical colleges, the new skills minister has suggested, claiming that prime minister Rishi Sunak is instead placing existing Institutes of Technology at the heart of his education plans.

Reports last month indicated that Sunak had been planning a new network of elite technical institutes to boost vocational training.

The Times reported that this would involve a new “network of ‘world-class’ technical institutions with links to industry and modelled on the Russell group of leading universities, offering T Levels and apprenticeships”.

Liz Truss had also unveiled plans for new “Voxbridge” colleges earlier this year during her brief stint as prime minister.

But addressing a House of Lords science and technology committee session this morning, new skills minister Robert Halfon claimed that Sunak was actually referring to the rollout of Institutes of Technology (IoT).

When asked to throw further light on the prime minister’s new “network of prestigious technical colleges,” Halfon told the committee: “We are increasing those. Those are the IoTs.

“So the IoTs are vocational colleges, predominantly focused on STEM and digital skills. We’re spending £290 million on them.

“There will be 21 overall, there are about 12 in place at the moment. Those IoTs are very much part of what you’re describing.”

Halfon, who had previously been a skills minister for a year in Theresa May’s government, explained that IoTs already exist in the further education sphere and have ties to colleges, universities and employers.

“So there isn’t going to be seven new institutions on a new framework?” Halfon was asked by committee.

He replied: “What I am aware of is the IoTs, that is what £290 million is being spent on, they’re still being rolled out and they are linked to FE colleges.”

IoTs work as collaborations between FE providers, universities and employers, and aim to deliver higher technical qualifications in areas like STEM and digital, as well as industries with skills shortages.

The government says that the first 12 IoTs comprise more than 40 FE providers, 60 employers and 18 universities, backed by £170 million of government funding to provide industry-standard facilities.

A fresh wave of nine further IoTs, backed by a further £120 million, was announced by the DfE in December last year.

Latest education roles from

Marketing Specialist – New Business

Marketing Specialist – New Business

HFL Education

Learning Support Assistant

Learning Support Assistant

The Chalk Hills Academy - Part of the Shared Learning Trust

GCSE Maths Teacher (Mat cover)

GCSE Maths Teacher (Mat cover)

Barnsley College

Cover Supervisor

Cover Supervisor

The Stockwood Park Academy

GCSE English Teacher

GCSE English Teacher

Barnsley College

Apprentice Development Leader

Apprentice Development Leader

GP Strategies

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, colleges and schools can be confident that learners...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Why we’re backing our UK skills ‘Olympians’ (and why you should too)

This August, teams from over 200 nations will gather to compete in the sticky heat of the Paris summer...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE)...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

A new chapter in education protection!

Gallagher is a specialist in the Further Education sector, working with over 75% of Further Education colleges in the...

Advertorial

More from this theme

Colleges, safeguarding

Prevent referrals made in FE at record high

Rising Prevent referrals and data sharing case studies lead calls of deradicalisation programme to be scrapped

Anviksha Patel
Colleges, Election 2024

LSIPs: Colleges call for long-term funding and shared accountability

AoC reviews the flagship policy one year on from the national rollout

Anviksha Patel
Colleges

Weapons and drug use on the rise in colleges, staff warn

Support staff demand more training and stricter punishments for rule breaking students

Anviksha Patel
Colleges, Election 2024

IFS: Colleges face £400m funding shortfall for rising 16-18s

Growing student numbers mean colleges will need £400 million just to maintain per-student funding levels

Shane Chowen

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *