Hundreds of people are applying for a new range of 18 free online training courses aimed at reskilling people across the West Midlands.
The training will result in certificates in subjects ranging from Food Hygiene to Mental Health Awareness, from Principles of Management to Digital Skills for Work, and from Upskilling in English and Maths to Health and Well-Being.
Chris Luty, chief executive of Oldbury-based BCTG, said: “We’re delighted to be offering these courses with the objective of reskilling people or giving them extra skills and qualifications.
“By developing themselves in this way, workers can equip themselves to become more useful to employers, and thus avoid potential redundancies by offering new skills in the workplace.
“For other people, the courses can help them to build their skills, qualifications and confidence while they are looking for employment, or searching for even better jobs.”
All courses last for around three-weeks, are running to the end of July, and are fully funded for residents in the region.
Mr Luty said the initiative pre-dated the current COVID-19 pandemic but explained that the lockdown and resulting economic uncertainty made it even more timely and crucial for people to make sure they had the right skills.
He added: “These courses are free of charge for anyone living in the West Midlands and could help them to find employment, to keep their current jobs, or to find even better roles.
“We’ve already had more than 400 people apply to join the courses and are able to accommodate more than 1,000 people between now and July.”
When the Adult Education Budget was first launched by the WMCA, Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Combined Authority is incredibly passionate about getting as many people into work as possible.
“We’ll use this funding to get more unemployed adults into jobs, provide free training for low earners, and upskill thousands so they can get even better jobs and earn more money.”