Additional Growth Funding Awarded to Successful Black Country Skills Factory

12 Jun 2018

Published in: Member News

The Black Country Skills Factory has been awarded additional Growth Funding to extend the Skills Factory programme through until March 2019. The additional funding of £317,500 is a 66% increase to the current funding and will enable the Skills Factory to continue to improve the labour market relevance of education and training across the Black Country.

The funding, from the Education & Skills Funding Agency as part of the Black Country European Social Fund (ESF) programme, will enable the Skills Factory to deliver an additional 650 bite-sized courses to Black Country based employers to meet their specific needs. 

This additional funding will more than double the numbers of courses planned with the original funding.  The Black Country Skills Factory will also work with 40 more schools and support the Skills Factory to continue to address skills shortages in the Black Country LEP's 5 transformational sectors: Advanced Manufacturing; Transport Technologies; Building Technologies; Environmental Technologies and Business Services.

The Skills Factory will continue to design and develop education and training programmes to meet employer needs, helping individuals to gain the skills and qualifications relevant to the sectors in which they are employed.  The bite-sized courses are delivered by "best in the region" FE Colleges and Training Providers.  The delivery of these programmes will ensure employers have access to a skilled labour force. To-date the Black Country Skills Factory (in partnership with the FE colleges and training providers) have worked with over 450 businesses, delivered over 500 bite-sized courses, worked with 40 schools and supported 189 progression apprenticeships in this programme.

Stewart Towe, Black Country LEP Chair said: "This funding is great news for the Black Country Skills Factory and will enable it to continue to make education and training provision more responsive to the needs of the economy, so that employers' skills needs are more quickly and more effectively met, and individuals receive better designed skills provision which equips them for the world of work."

Keith Box (Group HSEQ Manager, IPU) said: "By being able to offer the training it has resulted in staff members becoming more competent in key skills required for their role and morale has been boosted by the investment in improving their skills. 10% of the 80 strong UK workforce have been offered and completed training so far, with more to follow in the future."    

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