Published on 11/02/2021

  • The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology is encouraging girls to study STEM subjects
  • The Institute will target under-represented learners, facilitating clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations

Aston University hosted a virtual event on International Day of Women and Girls in Science (Thursday, 11 February 2021) to promote the opportunities offered at the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) to train for a career in STEM.

The UK is facing a huge demand for STEM skills across all levels and employers are looking for fresh and diverse STEM talent to drive their businesses forward. The new GBSIoT will target under-represented learners, facilitating clear opportunities for progression from school to high-level occupations.

The event was chaired by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and gave participants the chance to hear from a panel of inspiring women engineers. The panel members included:

  • Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE, Aston University
  • Tahsina Khan, Bosch Thermotechnology
  • Rosa Wells, Solihull College and University Centre

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT will help boost people’s skills in industries of the future, helping them gain employment in a fast-growing sector at what is a very challenging time for people’s livelihoods.

“The IoT will also support the introduction of T-levels and help underpin growth in apprenticeships, to support our regional aspiration that everyone has the opportunity to access great training and great careers in the West Midlands.”

Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE said: “New technologies are transforming the world of work, and we must equip our future workforce with the technical skills they need to thrive. We need to develop and train engineers in exciting areas such as robotics, data science, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to help businesses and our economy to grow.

I passionately believe that the Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT is the catalyst needed to encourage more women and girls to study STEM subjects.”

There are 600,000 jobs needed in these new fields like robotics, AI and tech, with an average starting salary of £50,000.”

Tahsina Khan, Bosch Thermotechnology said: “There are a lot of opportunities in manufacturing and it’s always evolving, I would highly recommend that more women explore the various routes and pathways available to study engineering.”

Rosa Wells, Director of Employment & Skills at Solihull College & University Centre said: The College has been committed to developing accessible routes into higher education in Engineering for the region and the success of this project will ensure that our learners benefit from the wonderful career opportunities available to them through closer links to our partners, continued investment in the Campus and an agile and responsive course offer designed with our employer partners."

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull IoT is a unique and exciting partnership of the colleges, universities and employers in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area. The consortium is led by Solihull College & University Centre, Aston University and Birmingham City University, working alongside South and City College Birmingham as a core partner and supported by BMET College, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham.

The colleges and universities are collaborating with leading employers and stakeholders to create a powerhouse for advanced manufacturing and engineering. Alucast, Bosch Thermotechnology, Continental Engineering Services, Fanuc, Hydraforce and Salts Healthcare are working with teaching staff to design innovative new engineering curriculum that will deliver the technical skills that they need.


Notes to Editors

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer, on 07557 745416 or email

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