A series of roadshows held across the West Midlands is set to inspire hundreds of local people to train for an exciting new career.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) held seven events in June and July, for residents wanting to train to gain employment and those wanting to train to get a better job, to help improve individuals’ income and to tackle the skills shortage in the area.
Almost 1,300 people visited the roadshows in Wolverhampton, Solihull, Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, which were focused on the region’s fastest growing sectors where there are lots of opportunities and good jobs. These include digital, construction, advanced manufacturing and engineering, and business and professional services.
The WMCA, which has just taken control of the region’s £126m adult education budget, organised the events to explain what skills and qualifications are needed to get jobs in these sectors, and how to access the training required.
Staff from local colleges and training providers were on hand to advise visitors to the roadshows on training that would help them get a job, offer them better career opportunities or give them specialist skills for a particular job or trade.
Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for productivity and skills, said:
“We want to ensure the £126m adult education budget makes a real difference by enabling more people to get jobs or improve their earnings.
“There are many opportunities coming to the region, but local people need to have the skills to take advantage of these new jobs.
“These roadshows are helping residents to get the information they need to take up training and qualifications they need to start a new career in a growing industry in the West Midlands, or, for those already in work, they are a great way to find training to boost skills and advance careers.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of WMCA, said:
“The West Midlands is the growth capital of the UK with its thriving industries and expanding economy. But it is no secret that we are suffering from a shortage of skilled workers.
“We have already launched the Beat the Bots fund to help workers at risk of automation, pledged to help train those with English as a second language, and highlighted the £25m investment we’ll make in new approaches to training through the adult education budget.
“These roadshows show our commitment to helping people from all our communities to find worthwhile jobs that improve their quality of life.”
Further events are planned later this year.