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GMColleges is expanding innovation across the region.

What is the Greater Manchester Further Education Innovation Programme?

The programme, which has been funded for one year by Innovate UK through its Further Education Innovation Fund, aims to increase the role of Further Education Colleges in the expansion of innovation support to improve productivity across Greater Manchester.

Innovation across industry

Our nine General Further Education colleges have been collectively awarded £2.5m to increase innovation support to businesses throughout the city region. 

The programme launched on 1st April 2024, and includes three new initiatives:  

  • FE Innovation Centres and teams 
  • Innovators in Residence 
  • Apprentice Innovation Ambassadors 

Become part of our team

Innovation Centres 

In every Greater Manchester borough, FE Colleges will establish an Innovation Centre where our new Business Innovation Advisors and Business Innovation Coordinators are based. These centres will engage and support local employers to build their innovation journey and establish colleges as places where businesses can connect with each other and access the support they need to increase productivity. 

Innovators in Residence 

We will have 4 experts in the domains of Greater Manchester’s four frontier sectors. They’ll facilitate sectoral connections across the innovation ecosystem and inform college staff CPD relating to: 

  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing 
  • Digital and Creative Economy 
  • Clean Growth 
  • Health Innovation and Life Sciences 

Our first two Innovators have now been appointed, and we are delighted to draw on the insight, experience and energy of Trevor Gregory for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, and Tom Marshall for the Digital and Creative Economy.

Apprentice Innovation Ambassadors 

GM colleges have access to an unparalleled resource of approximately 7000 apprentices placed in GM businesses.  

The GM FE Innovation Programme will develop an innovative training resource for apprentices (who are employed in local businesses) to gain an additional certificate in ‘Innovation Literacy’ and become ‘Apprentice Innovation Ambassadors’ who increase the innovation capacity in the SMEs where they are based. We will appoint an AIA Coordinator in each college to deliver this training, communicate its value to apprentices and employers and monitor its impact. 

Discover more information about roles in the GMFEIP team here. 

Apply for a vacancy here. 

You can read more about the vision for the Greater Manchester Further Innovation Programme in FE Week. 

Get in touch

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