Student engineer Assembling Robotic Arm with computer in Technology Workshop

Skills and economy boost for West Midlands

Additional funding has been allocated to West Midlands Combined Authority to support further education and training providers as they look to help local people gain new skills and work opportunities.

This comes as part of the Department for Education’s wider commitment of £200 million to helping colleges and universities meet the demands and priorities that have been identified in their region’s local skills improvement plans. The project in the West Midlands will be led by Solihull College and University Centre and will see colleges around the region working alongside the combined authority and Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to develop and deliver training.

Mayor of West Midlands and Chair of West Midlands Combined Authority, Andy Street, said:

“A key part of my mayoral mission is to ensure local people have the skills they need to succeed. We’re fortunate to be home to a range of excellent providers offering a remarkable range of provision – which we continue to improve.

“Education providers and partners have been instrumental in the development of our West Midlands Local Skills Improvement Plans and recognise the importance of responding to the needs of learners and employers.

“We welcome this additional funding from the Department for Education which will help bring many of recommendations from the LSIP to fruition – helping colleges and universities to fulfil their ambitions and take our provision to the next level in the months and years ahead.”

Training included in the programme will help local people access skills that are necessary to find jobs in industries such as electric vehicle and battery technology, sustainable construction, and the creative and gaming sector.

WMCA skills boost quote

Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, added:

“The announcement of £10.6 million Local Skills Improvement Funds for the West Midlands and Warwickshire is one of the biggest in the country and great news for local employers. It is also vindication of the brilliant partnership work that is taking place between businesses, providers and the WMCA to make our local skills funding as flexible and focused on economic growth as possible.

“These LSIF funds are a critical part of a bigger picture of devolved skills funding that is changing the face of our regional economy, we now need to make sure as many people as possible engage in this exciting opportunity which will provide much-needed funds for the skills and recruitment issues our businesses need to grow and find new markets. Most importantly, this underlines a smart way of delivering skills funding – putting businesses at the start of the process and using innovative ways of delivery, of focus and of engagement.”


Image credit: iStock

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