Black Country Skills Factory

The Black Country Skills Factory is a Local Enterprise Partnership initiative aimed at addressing skills shortages in the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) sector in the Black Country. 

Free impartial advice

The Skills Factory team have created a detailed matrix of equipment and  training provision in the HVM sector in the Black Country. Thus they are able to offer employers impartial and independent advice on up-skilling training courses, apprenticeships and funding opportunities in the Black Country.

The main strands of the project include: 

1. Up-skilling the existing workforce

The Skills Factory works in collaboration with local training providers and colleges to offer an extensive portfolio of courses in a wide range of technical skills as well as accredited management & leadership bite-sized training specifically tailored for the sector.  

They also sign-post to the two-year accelerated BEng Manufacturing Engineering degree delivered by the University of Wolverhampton.

2. Increasing the number of SMEs taking engineering based apprentices

The Skills Factory supports employers looking to take on engineering apprentices by offering impartial advice and support and can signpost to local colleges or training providers based on their needs. The Skills Factory team has detailed knowledge on the offering from each provider in the region.

3. School’s Engagement

The Skills Factory aims to increase the number of young people wishing to consider HVM as a career choice by changing the perception of the manufacturing sector and signposting to the career opportunities available through its innovative Manufacture your Future career resources.


The Skills Factory  manages two programmes linking business and schools supported by the Careers & Enterprise Company.

i) the Enterprise Adviser Network  which coordinates a network of experienced,  volunteer business advisers  with senior  schools across the Black Country.  The aim is  to help  schools better understand and access business as part of their Careers Education, Advice & Guidance for pupils.

ii) The “Passport to Employment” programme which delivers key sector based careers events to Year 9 pupils and their teachers, supported by sector employers. The aim is for the pupils and teachers to have knowledge and better understanding of the career opportunities within the key growth sector in the Black Country.  This programme is delivered in partnership with the Education Business Partnerships, Business in the Community and the National Careers Service. 

For more information on the Black Country Skills Factory, visit or follow on Twitter: @BCSkillsFactory