Members' Breakfast Briefing with Alex Warner

Date: 20 Oct 2021

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SCIoT calls on MK businesses to enrol on free digital skills courses

Hot on the heels of the planning application submission for the South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) at Bletchley, Alex Warner, Principal of Milton Keynes College Group, has addressed local business leaders.

Highlighting the work already being done through the SCIoT to nurture future talent to support the Milton Keynes tech ecosystem, Alex, speaking at the latest MKBLP event, called upon businesses to take advantage of the recently launched free study programmes to help local organisations improve their digital skills.

Winning the In Work Skills Pilot contract, worth almost £1 million, from the Department of Education, is, according to Alex, a huge vote of confidence from the Government in the SCIoT. The contract will enable the SCIoT to deliver six short courses in subjects such as cybersecurity, data analytics and AI to local businesses from October this year. “These are only available until March and businesses need to sign up quickly. It’s a terrific opportunity for local companies to have their staff learn crucial professional skills which will be of great value to their business.”

Speaking during the national, Love Our Colleges week, Alex explained that, despite the fact the SCIoT won’t officially open its doors until 2023, if planning is granted later this year, coaches are already delivering learning to over 200 learners.

Updating business leaders on the work already achieved through collaboration with leading employers including McAfee, Microsoft and KPMG, Alex explained the reverse engineering method which has driven the curriculum, taking the issues facing industries as the catalyst rather than education: “We want to inspire digital futures and create a cohort of graduates who have experience in dealing with real world applications and already have a digital footprint amongst businesses.

We don’t want to be just another higher education setting; we are building new learning experiences. They say it takes a village to raise a child but, in this case, it takes an entire tech ecosystem to raise the next graduates for Milton Keynes.”

Alex went on to discuss how the SCIoT, which will have a main hub on the Bletchley Campus and satellite sites in Oxford and Reading, has a firm commitment to equality and diversity.

“Our values are to include, to innovate, to connect and to challenge. Inclusion is our number 1 value. The UK’s technology sector is still suffering from a diversity issue, with gender imbalance and the BAME community not represented highly enough. We want to play our part in correcting that and reflect the community that we serve.”

Companies wishing to enrol their staff to learn skills such as Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Power Platforms and Cloud Computing through the the free courses on offer as part of the In Work Skills Pilot can get in touch via