2,000 learners help ‘STEM’ the flow of Lincolnshire’s brain drain
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With demand for technically qualified employees expected to remain high across the UK, education and training will be a key factor in supporting Lincolnshire’s economy, as employers compete for trainees and qualified staff on a national scale.
Official data shows the extent of the skills shortage and the stark situation facing the Greater Lincolnshire economy: Greater Lincolnshire has just 31.5% of individuals having a level 4 qualification or above. This is lower than the national average of 43.2% and it is thought to have a direct impact on employment and productivity in the region. (Source: Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Midlands Engine)
Meanwhile, the Greater Lincolnshire Skills Improvement Plan recognises that engineering, digital and construction sectors, for example, are key industries that require investment in skills, and need to encourage young people into STEM careers for those sectors. (Source: Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland LSIP | FSB, The Federation of Small Businesses)
LIoT, which is one of 21 Institutes of Technology (IoTs) established by the Department of Education since 2019, brings together leaders in the provision of high quality, higher level technical education and training across a range of STEM occupations and industries. In total, the LIoT partnership has already supported more than 7,500 people to achieve level 3-6 qualifications in STEM subjects so far and is on target to achieve its target of 2,500 level 4-6 newly qualified individuals within its first five years.
Destination data shows over 83% of higher education learners in 2021/22 progressed into positive destinations at levels 4-6, moving into employment or higher education.
Mick Lochran, Director of the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology (LIoT) said:
“Like many areas of the country, Lincolnshire has a real productivity challenge, and it is widely recognised that increasing the number of residents with higher level technical skills is fundamental to supporting businesses across Greater Lincolnshire to embrace new technology in areas such as Industry 4.0, Agri Tech, Electric Vehicle and new sources of energy.
“Since LIoT was founded in 2019, our partnership has worked with employers to help more people gain the skills and expertise that modern industries need. We’ve facilitated over £30 million capital investment in STEM education, enabling eight new training centres to be opened or refurbished and our partners have enrolled more than 7,500 STEM learners as a result.
“While we used to struggle to compete with the bigger cities for the best people and the most exciting STEM employment opportunities, we’re turning the tide as we educate, train and employ the highly skilled workers our economy needs. LIoT is well placed to introduce the new Higher Technical Qualifications, known as HTQs, to support employers particularly with those niche skills employers need their teams to develop”
The shortage of STEM skills in the UK is said to be costing employers approximately £1.5 bn each year (source: Department for Education, Expert Advisory Group on Maths to 18) and this technical skills shortage is well reported across the UK and our region. To counter this, the LIoT aims to support the economic growth and prosperity of the county by preparing individuals for work and supporting their development and progression within employment.
As a partnership between education providers and employers in Greater Lincolnshire, employers can use LIoT’s education and training facilities, equipment and expertise of its partners to train, upskill, multi skill and reskill new and existing staff. This may be through short courses, education qualifications, industry qualifications or apprenticeships.
One of LIoT’s Core Employment partners is Siemens Energy, which employs 94,000 people worldwide in more than 90 countries.
Head of Core Development and Engineering at Siemens Energy, Andrew Cooknell said:
“Alignment of higher education and industry partners enables the development of programmes to meet future employment demands. Employers need to recruit and develop staff to satisfy the rapidly changing demands of the business environment, with an increasing focus on technical and digital skills”
LIoT’s core employment partners include Siemens Energy, OAL and Bakkavor and the education partners are University of Lincoln – National Centre for Food Manufacturing, University Campus North Lincolnshire, University Centre Grimsby, Boston College, Grantham College and University Centre, Lincoln College University Centre, Riseholme College and Lincoln UTC.
For more information on LIoT partners courses and training opportunities including short courses and qualifications, apprenticeships, T Levels, Bootcamps,
Higher Technical Qualifications and the full range of level 3 – 6 qualifications, please visit www.liot.ac.uk.