Green technology

£130m WMCA funding for green technology skills in West Midlands

Thousands of residents and businesses will benefit from new green skills and qualifications thanks to funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The region has a target to be carbon neutral by 2041 and the WMCA is using its £130m adult education budget to make sure local people have the skills needed to benefit from the green industrial revolution.

The WMCA has announced funding to extend green skills courses to colleges in Birmingham, for both local unemployed people and those with jobs who are seeking to upskill.

Usually, the cost of higher level training is met by employers and individuals, but the WMCA is using a portion of its funds to offer this free of charge to groups of residents.

Now that one in four cars sold are electric or hybrid, the training includes supporting people to gain skills in electric vehicle maintenance.

Courses are running for adults in Birmingham, Coventry, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Warwickshire, with residents of Birmingham and Dudley being given the opportunity to learn how to install vehicle charging points.

Other green skills include retrofitting people’s homes to make them more environmentally friendly, with unemployed people being trained in order to secure jobs.

This support is enabling residents to be ready to take advantage of the new jobs that are on their way to the region.

As well as this, the WMCA will be co-hosting the International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference, where national and international experts will be coming together to discuss how regions can achieve net zero.

Commenting, Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said:

“As the home of Britain’s green industrial revolution, the West Midlands is set to create tens of thousands of jobs in the coming years as we work towards our #WM2041 plan to tackle the climate emergency.

“More than 21,000 jobs could be created in new green industries across all our economic sectors in our region over the next five years and 92,000 by 2041.

“It is therefore absolutely critical that we get local people the skills they need to move into these jobs, particularly at a time when many have been left out of work or are fearing for their future because of the pandemic.

“From skilled electric vehicle mechanics as the government bans the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, to heating engineers as more than 240,000 homes need retrofitting across the West Midlands, the WMCA will work with its partners to get people trained and into work.”

PSE will be hosting a Public Sector Decarbonisation event on 9 September. Join us for the full day event by registering here.

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