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Innovative training course helps people find work in traffic management

Published: Wednesday 22 Mar 2023

An innovative training course in Wolverhampton is putting unemployed people on the road to a new career in traffic management.

Fully funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and delivered by Vocation Training, the course focuses on giving people the skills that employers value most to help ensure trainees have a good chance of landing sustained work.

Learners are taught the relevant codes of practice for working on highways along with the skills and knowledge needed to gain an industry standard certification. The course is shaped to match specific job vacancies within the employer led course.

It currently runs for four weeks at the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus, but there are plans to roll it out across the West Midlands.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, visited the training course to take part in a practical workshop and chat with learners about what they are getting out of their lessons as well as their work aspirations for the future.

The Mayor said: “This exciting and innovative programme is a wonderful way for local people to acquire new skills in traffic management and translate that rapidly and directly into rewarding employment.

“It was genuinely inspiring to hear the stories of learners who had previously had challenges with finding long term work who are now benefiting from this fantastic free course.

“Since devolution of the adult skills budget from Whitehall to the WMCA, we have consistently sought to fund the training that makes a difference to people looking to move onto jobs.  This is another example of the WMCA supporting the development of skills needed in the construction sector.”

Vocation Training has worked with the WMCA since 2019, originally taking part in the initial Construction Gateway Pilot, and supporting more than 330 learners through training.

Underrepresented groups have, in particular, been supported with Vocation Training courses, with 80% of residents being from ethnic minorities and 22% having previous convictions.

One leaner currently on the course is Kristopher Antoniov, who joined seeking a route back into work after suffering a serious injury in a motorcycle accident three years ago.

He said: “I was recommended the course by a family friend who knew I was looking for work and after going through the process himself, he was extremely complimentary of the trainers and the whole set-up.

“I’m learning valuable skills of road safety and how traffic management works, and I cannot wait to be potentially given the opportunity to get started out in the field.”

Cllr George Duggins, WMCA portfolio lead for skills and productivity and leader of Coventry City Council, added: “Once again, the WMCA is funding and helping to secure innovative programmes to help people from all backgrounds land a job that suits their individual needs.

“However, we do not want to stop here, and we’re encouraging more employers to get on board with this employer-led training model and to recruit directly from these programmes working with the WMCA and key training partners like Vocation.”

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