An award-winning Coventry training provider has welcomed the Mayor of the West Midlands to demonstrate how it has adapted in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and is continuing to help learners develop the skills to succeed remotely.
Andy Street visited staff from PET-Xi to hear more about the programmes it is offering to support those who are unemployed and speak to learners about the emerging opportunities across the region and their aspirations for the future.
He was able to log onto the City of Culture programme, funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which is helping learners gain new employability and life skills.
The two-week programme also equips them with the skills required to fill positions that will be available as a result of Coventry’s time as UK City of Culture.
The programme is currently being delivered online and gives participants the opportunity to develop their knowledge in events, stewarding, first aid and the history of Coventry, and also enables them to gain an accredited qualification in IT, team leading or customer service.
PET-Xi also supported participants by providing £25 per child to pay for food during half term.
Andy, who was also joined in the visit by WMCA head of skills delivery Clare Hatton, was given an insight into the difference the programme is making to the lives of people across the city and held a question and answer session with participants.
He also heard more about some of the other programmes being run by PET-Xi and the impact they are having.
Bob Pinner, of PET-Xi, said: “It was fantastic to welcome both Andy and Clare to hear more about how we have adapted to deliver remote learning during the pandemic.
“Our online platform is enabling learners to continue accessing our programmes, while also giving them an outlet to socialise and meet new people during what is a very difficult time.
“The platform also removes potential barriers such as difficulties in accessing public transport, which means even more people can take part.
“The programme is hugely important for Coventry which we are very proud to be delivering.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Re-training and upskilling has a critical role to play in the West Midlands’ economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, helping to protect current employment whilst also helping those who have fallen out of work to bounce back quickly.
“It was brilliant therefore to visit PET-Xi, one of our region’s leading providers, and see first-hand how they have adapted to the pandemic and are supporting people of all ages through their programmes.
“I was particularly interested to hear about the City of Culture programme, which the WMCA, as City of Culture’s single biggest investor, has funded. The year-long series of events is coming at a critical time for the West Midlands, and we must do all we can to make the most of it.”
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, added: “Ever since bidding for the title, we’ve recognised that supporting skills development in the city is essential to achieving a positive legacy beyond 2022.
“This programme by PET-Xi will help ensure that everyone in the city can make the most of the new job and volunteering opportunities that the UK City of Culture title brings.”