Ladder for the Black Country: All systems go for Skills Accelerator

A workforce training initiative for technical skills has been launched by five Black Country colleges, with support from local industry bodies.

Debbie Goode (Dudley College), Daniel Degg, (City of Wolverhampton College), Corin Crane (Black Country Chamber of Commerce), James Norris (Walsall College), Jacquie Carman (Halesowen College) and Bridgette Bennett (Sandwell College)
Debbie Goode (Dudley College), Daniel Degg, (City of Wolverhampton College), Corin Crane (Black Country Chamber of Commerce), James Norris (Walsall College), Jacquie Carman (Halesowen College) and Bridgette Bennett (Sandwell College)

Skills Accelerator encourages employers to sign up their staff for free digital/IT, management and new technologies-based training, paving the way for them to access higher level training.

The initiative has been developed in response to priorities outlined in the Government’s Skills for Jobs white paper for reshaping the technical skills of the local labour market and wider economy.

Ladder for the Black Country college partners Dudley College, Halesowen College, Sandwell College, Walsall College and City of Wolverhampton College will deliver 15 short courses between now and March. Training areas include cyber security, website design, 3D printing and business improvement techniques.

Jacquie Carman, Skills Accelerator project lead and vice principal at Halesowen College, said: “The Black Country Colleges are delighted to be working in partnership to deliver the Skills Accelerator project across our region. We aim to encourage employers to capitalise on new ways of working aligned to their changing skills needs and labour market demand.

“We look forward to starting conversations with local businesses and delivering a selection of training designed to help them flourish in a post-pandemic, digitally-focused world.”

A launch event hosted at Walsall College was attended by representatives from the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, local councils, along with representatives from each college.

James Norris, assistant principal for commercial development, said: “The Skills Accelerator course portfolio showcases how local further and education colleges have the industry expertise, facilities and networks in place to respond swiftly to skills priorities raised at local and national level.

“It’s more important than ever for employers to take full advantage of the high-tech commercial opportunities and innovative operating and delivery models opening up around them as a way of future-proofing their businesses. We are proud to be playing our part in this process.”

Ladder for the Black Country is the apprenticeships programme supported by the Express & Star. For more information visit ladderfortheblackcountry.co.uk

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