Home of Second World War codebreakers at Bletchley Park to be turned into Institute of Technology by consortium including Microsoft

A pool that includes Microsoft has been awarded Government funding to transform part of Bletchley Park into an Institute of Technology that will teach digital skills.

The eight organisations have been granted £28 million to renovate Block D at the historic site, which was home to Britain’s codebreakers in the Second World War, including Alan Turing, and the celebrated Enigma machine.

Around 1,000 students aged 18 and over are expected to attend the Institute every year for technical qualifications, higher apprenticeships and training to help tackle the UK digital skills gap in roles so much as cybersecurity.

It is estimated that more than 500,000 extremely accomplished workers are needful to fill digital roles by 2022. That figure is three times the number of computer science graduates that the UK has produced over the past 10 years.

Derrick McCourt, General Manager of the client Success Unit at Microsoft UK, aforesaid: “In a world being changed by technology, galore of the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow will require skills and expertness rooted in technical ability. This new Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park will offer a much-needful pathway for young people to develop digital skills and practical expertness so vital to building a fulfilling career as well as addressing the digital skills gap crosswise the UK.”

Sir John Dermot Turing, Alan Turing's kinsman, views the plans for the Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park
Sir John Dermot Turing (left), Alan Turing’s kinsman, views the plans for the Institute of Technology at Bletchley Park

The Government invited pools of universities, further education colleges and companies to bid for £170 million of funding to create a network of 12 technology institutes crosswise the country, in a move politicians called the “biggest shake up to technical education in a generation.”

Microsoft’s group is led by Milton Keynes College and besides includes KPMG, McAfee, Evidence negotiation, VWFS, Activate Learning and Cranfield University, who will besides help the institute deliver manufacTuring and engineering skills. It is supported by the Bletchley Park Trust.

The pool will use its funding to create a state-of the-art facility that will build on and complement further and higher education institutions in the Buckinghamshire area. It will contain up-to-date instrumentality and have access to the latest research from university partners to anticipate the skills that employers will require in the future. Local employers and partners will contribute extra investment, teaching staff and instrumentality.

Announcing the plans of the 12 institutes that have received funding, Prime Minister Teresa May aforesaid: “I firmly believe that education is key to opening up chance for everyone – but to give our young people the skills they need to succeed, we need an education and training system which is more flexible and diverse than it is currently.

Derrick McCourt (right) from Microsoft joins other members of the pool and Sir John Dermot Turing outside D Block at Bletchley Park
Derrick McCourt (right) from Microsoft joins other members of the pool and Sir John Dermot Turing outside Block D at Bletchley Park

“New technologies are transforming the world of work, and to harness the opportunities on offer we must equip our future work force with the technical skills they need to thrive, and that the economy inevitably to grow.

“These new Institutes will help end obsolete perceptions that going to university is the only desirable route and build a system which harnesses the talents of our young people.”

Microsoft, which runs a digital skills initiative and hosts events to encourage girls to consider a career in technology, aforesaid the Bletchley Park plan would help young people embark on boffo careers.

“Microsoft’s collaborations with Milton Keynes College and Cranfield University are portion to develop the next generation work force,” McCourt added. “This announcement is a enormously positive step forward in ensuring that students and employers are armed with priceless skills – some now and in the future.”

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