Development of Gloucestershire College’s new £3 million Institute of Technology facilities at its Cheltenham campus has begun.
The redevelopment will create a new cyber and IT area, with specialist computing labs, attack and defence rooms, forensic tool kits, eco study pods, a dedicated entrance and an open study and networking area. The engineering teaching and learning area is also being extensively refurbished with dedicated spaces for those studying higher level engineering in Cheltenham.
The work is taking place following the College’s successful bid to become one of 12 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) in the UK, alongside partners Weston College, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Bath College and Yeovil College.
The Government’s aim for IoTs is to offer an alternative to universities by specialising in delivering higher level technical training in STEM subjects. This will boost young people’s skills and provide a route for students taking T levels or A Levels to move onto higher level technical education; IoTs will also cater for those people already in work, with higher level technical training at Level 4 and above in STEM subjects.
Matthew Burgess, Vice Principal and CEO at Gloucestershire College explains the crucial role this development will play in Cheltenham’s booming IT and Cyber industry,
“As our world becomes increasingly digitised it is crucial that we keep pace with technology and innovation, and ensure we have the optimum educational and workplace training opportunities for the next generation of industry leaders.
“In Gloucestershire, we are seeing a boom in the rapid expansion of technical, cyber and engineering companies, and it is of paramount importance that we provide our learners with access to the best facilities, tutors and employers to develop these high-value skills.
Kevin Harris, Managing Director at Bamboo Technology Group, partner of the West of England Institute of Technology added,
“The new facilities at Gloucestershire College, funded through the IoT, will nurture and educate a critical talent pool and develop the future leaders of our industry. Students will thrive in their cutting edge learning environment with access to many leading cyber organisations right on the doorstep.”
Dan Nicholls, Senior Manager – Leadership Program Management, Engineering Early Careers, GE Aviation, said: “The new engineering labs and resources at Gloucestershire College will provide all apprentices with the optimum educational workspace, complemented by outstanding training and mentoring provided by their tutors. With so many industry-leading local employers and the advanced educational facilities to match, top-talent have all the support and opportunities they need to succeed right here in Gloucestershire.”
Julia Russell, Apprentice Lead at Renishaw, added: “Regardless of the current economic climate, it is of paramount importance that we provide the next generation with access to the very best technical facilities and education to keep abreast of our rapidly evolving and progressive industry. Gloucestershire College’s brand new engineering facilities funded by the West of England Institute of Technology and connections with leading employers will provide the best opportunities for students and apprentices to flourish.”
Gloucestershire based company, Stroud Office Interiors Ltd which specialises in commercial office interiors and fit out refurbishment projects has been selected to carry out the redevelopments.