Minister says New Bletchley IoT “vital” for closing skills gap

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MKBLP were delighted to hear that Gillian Keegan, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, has called the opening of the Institute of Technology “vital” for closing the region’s skills gap.

Making a special appearance at the virtual launch event to mark the official opening of the South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) at Bletchley, the minister stressed the importance of the SCIoT being an employer-led initiative and of teaching skills which are in desperately short supply: “Many businesses today report that 26% of their vacancies they cannot fill, because of a lack of skills and this is a real issue for employers.”

The SCIoT has been established by Milton Keynes College in partnership with some of the world’s biggest companies including Microsoft, McAfee and KPMG and flourishing local concerns like Cranfield University and CCL Evidence Talks.  It will teach a variety of cutting-edge tech skills from cloud computing and networking to cyber security, and much of the work students undertake will come from real-life problems faced by the partner companies.

Its aim is to cut the thousands of unfilled tech job vacancies by providing the skills companies in the region are desperate for today. This will be of huge benefit to many businesses throughout Milton Keynes and retain the talent within our city.

The SCIoT is a stone’s throw from Bletchley Park, home of the wartime code breakers who themselves were at the cutting edge of that time’s technology and possessed of skills very few people possessed.  Sir Dermot Tuning is nephew of Alan Turing, the man behind the Park’s wartime success.  He’s also a member of the Anchor Partner Strategy Group at the SCIoT, and said he thought it was a fitting location for such an ambitious project.

“I’ve always thought of the Bletchley Park heritage side of things as not being a backward-looking thing but a forward-looking thing, being about how we can be inspired by the past to discover a new future,” he said.  “Obviously as an educational institution, part of what you’re trying to do at the institute of technology is a very positive way of giving effect to that philosophy.”