PLANS to widen the availability of free job training to thousands more people across the region have been drawn up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The WMCA is looking to boost people’s job prospects and earnings by making the free of charge Level 3 training courses available to anyone earning £30,000 a year or less.
At present the courses are only available to those earning around £18,000 or less.
The proposals, which are undergoing consultation, would make the WMCA’s free job training offer the most generous in the UK.
If the proposal passes consultation, training will start with a two-year trial beginning in August.
Dr Julie Nugent, the WMCA’s executive director of economic delivery, skills and communities, said: “The West Midlands region has enormous economic potential, but we recognise that at the moment our qualification levels currently sit below the national average.
“As a result, employers face persistent skills shortages, with around one in four vacancies classed as ‘hard to fill’, particularly in roles that require advanced and higher skills.
“Creating a new avenue for below average range earners to continue their learning is a vital step in tackling these issues and ensuring that the skills needs of businesses are met and more people are supported through in-work progression across the region.”
Proposals will be funded from existing AEB and free courses for jobs programme budgets.
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