Gateway to a thousand glittering futures as Institute of Technology opens for business in Bletchley

The new South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) has opened with a host of digital courses that you can choose to study in person, blended or online. It is a collaboration between Milton Keynes College, giant global brands like Microsoft and local companies such as Cranfield University, offering higher technical qualifications equivalent to university level in MK…

The first students are studying for an exciting digital future at the new South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) in Bletchley.

The SCIoT is a collaboration between Milton Keynes College and a host of giant global companies like Microsoft, McAfee and KPMG and important local brands like Cranfield University and CCL Evidence Talks.

It offers a host of new digital courses and is expected to welcome a thousand students and apprentices a year as the only place in Milton Keynes offering higher technical qualifications equivalent to university level, as well as a range of short courses.

The qualifications have been created with substantial input from business to ensure the skills taught will be the ones local industry is crying out for.

The SCIoT came into being thanks to the consortium winning a grant of £26 million pounds from the Department for Education in a national competition.

It is the largest sum awarded to any Institute of Technology reflecting its importance to the city and the wider region.

Principal, Alex Warner said: “This is a whole new concept in education in this country. The SCIoT will be an inclusive centre for technical qualifications, higher apprenticeships and training to plug the growing gap between demand and supply for key technical and digital roles, including cyber security.

“Students can choose to complete their studies in person, blended, or online as part of our Lifestyle Learning approach.

“They’ll be taught by amazing people with up-to-date experience in tech businesses and they’ll work on real world problems supplied by our partners.

“This is a real joint effort by business and education to train people for the careers of the future.”

Students will be taught by dual professionals, people with relevant experience in industry who know exactly the skills which are most in demand in the jobs market.

Many of the courses on offer are so new they can’t be studied anywhere else in the country. Another unique feature of
the SCIoT is the commitment to make sure the people studying reflect the community of Milton Keynes and the wider area it will serve.

The SCIoT operates an EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) Steering Group and is already making progress in attracting students from harder-to-reach groups.

Of students already recruited, 52% are from a Black, Asian, or Ethnic Minority background, 37% are disabled or neurodiverse, while 22% are female.

“This is a place where everyone can learn,” Alex explained. “We strongly believe that the best businesses are the ones where the staff understand the customers because they’re just like them.

“Your background doesn’t matter, it’s your willingness to learn and your determination to build a great career.

“Today virtually every business has a technical element to it and there are huge shortages, particularly in our area, so our graduates will have a real advantage in the job market.”

The SCIoT is located at Sherwood Drive in Bletchley, plus Reading and Oxford. If you are interested in finding out more about courses, visit southcentraliot.ac.uk, call 01908 684444 or email iot@mkcollege.ac.uk for more information.

This feature was published in the June and July 2021 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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