A leading college group is calling for institutes of technology (IoTs) to be at the heart of a coordinated, cross-college approach to further education across London.
In a report published today, the 157 Group says the most effective way to ensure sufficient skills coverage at the right level for every sector is strong collaboration and providing an understandable pathway from entry level skills through to degree level.
The model is based on the IoT proposals put forward by the governent, but uses what the report describes as a “hub and spoke” structure. Under the plans, the “London technology institutes” would establish “a main centre for a specific skill and then satellite centres across London, which would offer core curriculum as well as specialist skills taught only at specific centres”.
The model would offer economies of scale, improve facilities for learners, be cost-effective for the London government, and give employers one point of contact, the report argues.
The report, written by four of the group's six member colleges in London, stresses the importance of local provision of level 1 and 2 skills, but calls for a more coordinated, London-wide approach for higher level skills. “London faces its biggest skills challenge at levels 3 and above," the report states. “A 32‑borough or subregional solution will not work. It needs a London‑wide solution led by the mayor.
“This will ensure that every skill needed to give London the most productive workforce is accounted for and offered in the most efficient, beneficial way for learners as well as for government and employers.”
Sector‑based London technology institutes focused on critical growth sectors such as construction, digital, the creative industries and financial services would work for both employers and learners, the report states.