The Education Secretary has set up 12 Institutes of Technology across the country to address the skill needs of businesses.
Damian Hinds told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that the new collaborations between universities, further education colleges, and employers including Nissan, Siemens and Microsoft, will be “centres of excellence”.
The institutes will specialise in delivering higher level technical training in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering that will provide employers with the skilled workforce they need.
The institutes will be backed by £170 million of government investment so they have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
Some will be located in refurbished buildings, others will build new facilities on new or current sites.
They will provide a route for young people taking T-levels or A-levels (Level 3) to move onto higher level technical education and training - like foundation degrees and higher level apprenticeships in STEM subjects.
Mr Hinds told Julia: “This is a significant investment of £170m backing these 12 new institutes of technology across the country.
“These are going to be real centres of excellence for higher level technical education including apprenticeships to really address the skill needs that businesses have to improve their productivity.”
Theresa May described the institutes as helping end “outdated perceptions” around education.
The prime minister said: "I firmly believe that education is key to opening up opportunity for everyone - but to give our young people the skills they need to succeed, we need an education and training system which is more flexible and diverse than it is currently.
"These new institutes will help end outdated perceptions that going to university is the only desirable route and build a system which harnesses the talents of our young people."
The first institutes are expected to open from September this year.
The 12 Institutes of Technology are:
- Barking and Dagenham College
- Dudley College of Technology
- Harrow College & Uxbridge College
- Milton Keynes College
- New College Durham
- Queen Mary University of London
- Solihull College & University Centre
- Swindon College
- University of Exeter
- University of Lincoln
- Weston College of Further and Higher Education
- York College