Wigan college spearheads new GM institute of technology

Wigan and Leigh College is spearheading a new multi-million-pound Greater Manchester Institute of Technology which will benefit students across the region and see one of the town’s sites receive a state-of-the-art upgrade.
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The complex opens in September and will specialise in construction, engineering, health and digital skills.

Led by the University of Salford along with Wigan and Leigh College as the lead further education partner, GMIoT brings together a number of colleges and employers across the region.

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The proposal has been worked on for the last two years by Ada, the National College for Digital Skills; Bury College; Tameside College; GCHQ; Laing O’Rourke; Siemens; and Talk-Talk.

Investment will see the Pagefield Centre's facilities upgraded for students.Investment will see the Pagefield Centre's facilities upgraded for students.
Investment will see the Pagefield Centre's facilities upgraded for students.

As part of the project Wigan and Leigh College will see investment in upgrading equipment at its Pagefield Centre including the electrical and electronic labs as well as the automation and robotics lab, power and renewable energy lab and the industrial control lab.

Its principal Anna Dawe 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.”

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A variety of courses will be on offer for pupils, including Higher Technical Qualifications, Higher National Diplomas and apprenticeships. In addition to digital and technical skills boot camps and short courses.

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The Greater Manchester bid was submitted as part of wave two of the funding competition, with Institutes of Technology being the governments flagship programme to deliver level four and five of higher technical education.

The scheme will operate on a hub and spoke model, with the centre at located at the University of Salford receiving capital funding and a commitment to upgrade facilities at partner colleges including Wigan.

Jo Purves, pro cice-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.”

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