Black Country Colleges Declare all Systems go for Skills Accelerator Workforce Initiative


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

Skills Accelerator encourages employers to sign up their staff for free digital/IT and 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.

15 short courses will be delivered by Dudley College, Halesowen College, Sandwell College, Walsall College and City of Wolverhampton College between now and March.  Training areas include electric hybrid vehicle system and repair, intruder alarm systems, cybersecurity, 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.

Commenting on the new programme Neil Thomas Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Dudley College of Technology said: “The Skills Accelerator programme will allow businesses of all sizes, including sole- traders such as electricians to get free training. Training that is designed to increase their range of skills and open up new income streams for them. With delivery in short-bursts, much of which is at weekends – the flexible nature of the courses are designed to fit in with the day-to-day workload of Black Country businesses, making them attractive to local employers.”   

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 (GBSLEP), local councils, along with representatives from each college.


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