Walsall College to get £1 million cash boost
Nearly £1 million will be given to Walsall College as part of a project that could see more than 600 apprentices trained in the borough by 2021.
Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) bosses will meet on September 18 to discuss giving Walsall College a £948,000 grant towards its digital engineering and construction project.
The cash will go towards equipment and developing land at 21 Portland Street, which sits in between the college's Wisemore Campus and Green Lane Campus, in order to expand its engineering and construction department.
Bosses at the LEP say when complete, the development will help meet 'growing demand' for works in the industries, which they say is expected to rise over the coming years, as well as benefitting young people in the borough with it hoped that those who use the site will be able to fill job roles or get on to apprenticeship programmes.
A maximum amount of £554,000 will be allowed for development of the Portland Street site, which the college has already purchased, with a condition added to the grant that work must start by December and be completed in principal by next July.
Councillor Aftab Nawaz, Walsall Council's cabinet member for education, said he was 'thrilled' with the news and congratulated the college.
He said: "This is excellent news for Walsall and of course the college in particular.
"The college is already doing a great job of boosting education in Walsall but this money will go a long way towards ensuring more of our young people secure apprenticeships and jobs in the future.
"I am thrilled to hear that they are going to benefit from this grant."
Board papers ahead of the meeting state: "The project will enable the expansion of Walsall College provision of full time, part time and apprenticeships within key sectors of Engineering and Construction.
"Employer and learner demand for training in these sectors has risen sharply in recent years and, whilst the College and the LEP have invested in new equipment to help meet the demand, it is clear from both research and current demand for courses at the College that numbers of employers and learners requiring skills training in these sectors continues to rise. "All indicators are that this growth will be sustained.
"This project will involve purchasing of new equipment and provide facilities the College does not currently have within their Engineering and Construction department, further offering outstanding quality and up to date service that will bridge the gap between supply and demand for Engineering, Electronics and Construction skills at a range of levels for the benefit of young people, unemployed adults and employers in Walsall and the wider Black Country."