Young people in the West Midlands will benefit from new one-year training courses at further education colleges and private providers to equip them with the skills needed to gain jobs, as the region recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
To support young people who may struggle to get a job or apprenticeship due to the impact of Covid-19, the WMCA is funding the training through its devolved adult education budget, thanks to an extra £5.3m from the Department for Education.
The WMCA is also using the money to set up sector-based work academies to help local employers with immediate and future vacancies by upskilling the unemployed to fill these jobs.
Through devolution, these new training courses, which will start in September, show how the WMCA is supporting local people in gaining qualifications, upskilling or retraining for new jobs.
Being responsive to the needs of regional and local businesses and working closely with employers also means the WMCA can provide young people with the skills required for employment, both now and in the future.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We know that young people are expected to be hardest hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and that many adults will sadly lose their jobs.
“It’s critical therefore that we support young people and adults back into work quickly by equipping them with the skills that local employers need.
“This extra funding from Government will help do exactly that as it allows us to fund one-year training courses in high-value subjects and match local jobseekers with employers who are recruiting.”
The new one-year courses will give 18 and 19-year-olds the opportunity to gain qualifications at levels 2 and 3 to get jobs in growth sectors where there are vacancies, such as construction, health and care, and engineering.
Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills, added: “Young people are our future and we must do everything we can to help them through this difficult time, especially if they haven’t gained the exam results they were hoping for. This additional funding is a welcome boost.
“I would also urge local employers who are recruiting to talk to their local JobCentre and find out more about sector-based work academies, which are a great way to get new talent into their business.”
Sector-based work academies last up to six weeks and comprise pre-employment training, a work experience placement and a guaranteed job interview.
To find out more about the training opportunities for young people being funded by the adult education budget, visit https://beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/covid-19-support/online-resources/