Barking and Dagenham College principal welcomes government pledge to boost higher education

Yvonne Kelly. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College.

Yvonne Kelly. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College. - Credit: Archant

A college principal has welcomed a government announcement that it plans to boost higher technical education to support the UK’s economic recovery.

The East London Institute of Technology is due to open soon. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College

The East London Institute of Technology is due to open soon. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College - Credit: Archant

Yvonne Kelly, who is at the helm of Barking and Dagenham College, commented that now is the time to invest in technical skills and education.

Ms Kelly said: “We welcome the announcement made by government. Technical education is something that our college takes very seriously.

“By working closely with our employers, we have always strived to ensure that we offer our students an education that equips them with the skills they need and the chance of a career that the students can excel in.

“Now more than ever it is important that we help not only our own students succeed in this tough economy, but help re-build the UK’s economy as a whole,” Ms Kelly added.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson announced the boost following a major review which showed that technical qualifications can help provide the skills employers need.

However, the review found that not enough people were studying them, which in turn is leading to a skills shortage in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and digital.

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Mr Williamson said: “For too long we have been training people for the jobs of yesterday instead of the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Employers are struggling to find the computer programmers, engineers, electricians and technicians they need, and students of all ages are missing out on the high skill, high wage jobs that higher technical education can lead to.”

The announcement came as the college prepares to open its new East London Institute of Technology (ELIoT).

The new facilities have been designed to offer higher technical education and follow a collaboration between employers, colleges and universities.

Sector specialisms include construction, advanced manufacturing and creative digital – all of which the government highlighted as suffering from a skills shortage and in need of new talent.

Jason Turton, director of advanced technologies at the ELIoT, said: “Our curriculum, delivery and teaching practices will address the changing labour markets, emerging occupations and skills needs.

“We hope the government’s latest announcements will continue to raise the profile of technical education.”