Eastern Institute of Technology bid is ‘key to unlocking the potential of future generations’

On Thursday, November 15, local MP Jo Churchill, Liz Truss MP and James Cartlidge MP met with Dr Nik

On Thursday, November 15, local MP Jo Churchill, Liz Truss MP and James Cartlidge MP met with Dr Nikos Savvas, Principal of West Suffolk College, to show their strong support for West Suffolk College�'s bid to become an Eastern Institute of Technology. Pictured at Westminster Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Submitted

A “visionary and ambitious” bid to establish a pioneering multi-million pound centre for technology in the east has been put forward.

MPs met with Dr Nikos Savvas, principal of West Suffolk College, to show their strong support for the bid, which was submitted on Wednesday, November 21, to become an Eastern Institute of Technology (EIoT).

The proposal to establish a training centre for technical careers is being led by West Suffolk College, based in Bury St Edmunds, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and is backed by further education colleges, universities and businesses.

Last year five colleges in Suffolk and Norfolk – including Suffolk New College, Easton and Otley College and West Suffolk College – applied for a slice of a £170million Government cash pot to form the institute and the collective proposal was moved into the second stage of bidding.

Dr Savvas said: “The incredible collaboration in this proposal is one of its strongest elements. The visionary and ambitious bid has the partnership of four regional universities: the University of East Anglia, University of Suffolk and Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education and Anglia Ruskin University, the LEP, this region’s leading further education colleges, and over 30 employers including global firms such as Arm, BT, Pearson and Bosch Rexroth; all being the life-blood of the proposal.”

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The submitted bid is called ‘training a region fit for the future’.

Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill said: “We currently sit on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution in one of the most dynamic parts of the country, it is therefore vital that businesses and education work together to ensure that young people have the high skills required for the future economy.

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“The Eastern Institute of Technology is a bespoke model for ensuring skills training and further education reaches out into the towns and cities across our region. With strong support from some of the region’s leading organisations from education and business this is a unique model.

“This bid is key to unlocking the potential of future generations, raising aspirations and building futures and I am proud to support it.”

The EIoT is to help ensure there are enough people with the skills needed by the world’ leading businesses to drive the growth of the UK economy.

South West Suffolk Norfolk Liz Truss MP said: “We have global leading businesses like ARM and Mars, world renowned Cambridge University, all joining together in a unique partnership and I believe this bid led by West Suffolk College deserves to succeed and will significantly boost the opportunities for our young people in Norfolk and surrounding counties.”

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge added: “In the recent sessions of the South Suffolk Taskforce, set up in the wake of the Delphi closure announcement, the number one problem referenced by businesses was the shortage of skilled employees in the area. As such, I am fully supportive of this bid and would welcome greater provision of specialist training for technical careers.”

Dr Saul Humphrey, managing director of Morgan Sindall East and chairman of New Anglia LEP’s Building Growth, said in the future there will undoubtedly be a need for more construction workers, but also more young people with transferable skills from a background in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

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