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University of Warwick and University College Birmingham partnership to support regional skills gap

The University of Warwick and University College Birmingham have launched an ambitious partnership to address skills gaps and support businesses in the West Midlands.

The partnership is borne out of two years of collaboration between the University of Warwick and University College Birmingham, aiming to broaden participation and access to education, and creating skills pathways led by regional business needs.

At an event on Wednesday 2 November, for regional businesses and stakeholders, the two universities set out their vision and programmes aimed at supporting regional growth.

The partnership aims to provide a new approach to social mobility by opening up access to education for people in some of the region’s most disadvantaged communities. The collaboration sets out to deliver these goals, inspiring young people by providing technical training partnerships and degree apprenticeships, as well as supporting young entrepreneurs.

Both institutions attribute 65% regional impact in the West Midlands. The University of Warwick is a powerful driver of inclusive economic growth and social value in the West Midlands and the UK, contributing £3.3 billion to the UK economy. It supports 16,085 jobs across the UK (72% of these in the West Midlands). For every pound of expenditure, the University of Warwick generates £5.80 of economic impact across the UK.

Andrew Todd, Director of Regional Engagement, University of Warwick, said, “The University of Warwick has an incredibly strong record on connecting graduates to high value and high demand job sectors. This partnership combines our strengths with University College Birmingham’s reputation as a provider of high-quality teaching and vocational qualifications.

“We have an ambitious programme working with businesses and employers in the region to connect students and graduates to regional jobs markets through our incubation programme – with access to education, skills and employability at the forefront of our mission.

“The partnership represents a unique opportunity for both learners and employers in Birmingham, Coventry and the West Midlands to more widely to connect and reach their potential through delivering highly skilled jobs.”

University College Birmingham, in the heart of the city of Birmingham, delivers world-class, career-focused education and training. Its impact contributes £358 million to the UK economy. It supports 1,275 jobs, with 73% of these in the West Midlands. For every pound of expenditure, it generates £6.70 of economic impact across the UK.

José Lopes, Executive Director of External Engagement, University College Birmingham, said, “University College Birmingham is well-known for delivering high-quality, career-focused education and we’re proud to be working in partnership with the University of Warwick, to grow our work in meeting the skills demands of the West Midlands.

“Already, we’ve seen the impact of our partnership by supporting our young entrepreneurs to launch their specialist businesses, through the joint Creative Futures Incubator. We have also collaborated to provide maths support to local school students by linking with University of Warwick coaches.

“We’re moving forward to address skills needs looking at developing pathways in STEM education, developing talent pipelines with our young people, as well as upskilling and workforce development through apprenticeships. With the launch of University College Birmingham’s new engineering and sustainable construction curriculum, we will work together to continue to develop our courses, our facilities and our links with employers to produce graduate talent that advances our region.”

For further information about the University of Warwick and University College Birmingham partnership, watch this short video about the plans to address skills gaps and support businesses in the West Midlands.


Notes to editors

  • The University of Warwick is one of the world’s leading research institutions, ranked in the UK’s top 10 and world top 65 universities. Since its foundation in 1965, the university has established a reputation for research and education excellence.
  • Enterprise and practical experience is a key focus across University College Birmingham’s college courses and degrees, which cover the areas of health and nursing, education, sport and physiotherapy, business and tourism, computing and cyber security, engineering and sustainable construction, food and creative services. The university has invested £150 million into its facilities over the past decade, including cutting edge sports facilities, a health skills and simulation suite and an engineering centre, and is building a Sustainable Construction Centre ready for the 2023 academic year. The university not only won University of the Year at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, but the top award for student support, as voted for by students themselves.
  • Combined, the University of Warwick and University College Birmingham have over 1400 apprentices across a range of apprenticeships from level 2 to 7.

Photo credits: Peter Medlicott

For further information please contact:

Media Relations
University of Warwick

Melanie Hall
University College Birmingham
Telephone: 0121 232 4060