A new multi-million-pound technical education institute in Greater Manchester will open to students in September 2023, after being granted a licence by the Department for Education.

The Greater Manchester Institute of Technology (GMIoT) will specialise in construction, engineering, health and digital skills. Led by the University of Salford with Wigan & Leigh College as the lead FE partner, the GMIoT will bring together a number of colleges and employers from all parts of Greater Manchester in hopes to fix skills gaps across the city-region and make future jobs accessible for all.

The GMIoT will offer a variety of courses, including new Higher Technical Qualifications, Higher National Diplomas and apprenticeships, as well as digital and technical skills boot camps and short courses designed to fast-track learners into jobs in growth sectors for Greater Manchester.

Courses at the GMIoT will be aimed at both school and college leavers who might be considering a career in STEM and older learners looking to upskill or retrain.

The partners – The University of Salford; Ada, the National College for Digital Skills; Bury College; Tameside College; Wigan & Leigh College; GCHQ; Laing O’Rourke; Siemens; and Talk-Talk – have been working together on the proposal for the last two years.

Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are the government’s flagship programme designed to spearhead the delivery of level 4 / 5 higher technical education in STEM subjects. The first wave of 12 IoTs has already opened across the country. The Greater Manchester bid was submitted as part of wave two of the funding competition.

The GMIoT will operate on a hub and spoke model, with capital funding being invested in a new centre at the University of Salford with hubs across Greater Manchester, with investment committed to the upgrade of existing facilities across partner colleges.

Justin Kelly, Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP) lead for skills, said: 

“It’s fantastic news that Greater Manchester’s Institute of Technology will welcome its first cohort of students in September. Since receiving initial Government approval just over a year ago, the Institute of Technology’s industrial and academic partners have worked extremely hard to get the initiative to this stage.  The Institute of Technology will play an important role in helping people upskill and reskill in areas where employer demand is high, which in turn helps businesses grow and innovate. We know there is huge demand for technical skills in STEM sectors – offering learners relevant, accessible courses is the first step in addressing that skills gap.”

Jo Purves, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Development at the University of Salford, said: 

We are delighted that we’ve been successful in our efforts to bring an Institute of Technology to Greater Manchester. The GMIoT will make a valuable contribution to the education and skills system in our city region and offer residents of all ages new routes into high skilled, high paid jobs.  Collaboration is in our DNA as a university, so we have been pleased to be able to lead this bid on behalf of our city region and bring together partners of such quality and ambition. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of IoT students in September 2023.” 

Anna Dawe, Principal at Wigan & Leigh College, said: 

“This is excellent news and a huge boost to the promotion and delivery of higher level technical skills across Greater Manchester. For our borough it will deliver training and employment opportunities that are for the careers of the future as well as responding to current skills and workforce needs. We are very much looking forward to working with our partners and putting our plans into action.”

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA lead for Education, Skills, Work, Apprenticeships and Digital said: 

“It’s fantastic to hear the news that the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology will open to students in September 2023. Employers continue to highlight a lack of technical skills within Greater Manchester’s workforce required to build their businesses, the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology gives Greater Manchester residents access to new employment focused education and skills opportunities, it also plays an important role in addressing the skills shortage and building Greater Manchester’s economy.”

Paul Birt, Head of People & Organisation at Siemens Smart Infrastructure said:

Innovating technology with purpose is at the core of our global strategy. As one of the UK’s largest technology companies, we are committed to supporting the development of the skills of the future we will need, not just for ourselves but for our customers and the markets we serve. Greater Manchester Institute of Technology will bring new opportunities for both large and small enterprise, to tap into all the region has to offer by way of the new talent and expertise supported by the programmes on offer. Siemens looks forward to a productive relationship and is proud to be supporting the new Institute.”

Ian Turner, Talent Director at Talk-Talk said: 

“As the fastest growing digital hub in Europe, the North West is a victim of its own success with unprecedented demand on the local technology talent pools. It’s vital we broaden our reach to find and train the best people in our