Free job skills training given green light for people earning £30k or less - The Solihull Observer

Free job skills training given green light for people earning £30k or less

Solihull Editorial 10th Jul, 2023   0

PEOPLE in the West Midlands earning £30,000 a year or less can now take advantage of free Level 3 job training.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has given the generous training offer the green light as part of a new far-reaching package of measures to improve people’s skills and qualifications so they can get into work or land a better job.

The annual wage limit was agreed at £30,000 as this is the average salary in the West Midlands.

The package comes following a consultation by the WMCA earlier this year with regional stakeholders – including local authorities, colleges, training providers, universities and the voluntary sector.

A Level 3 qualification is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or two A levels.

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “We remain committed to opening up opportunities for local people right across our region – boosting their own career prospects at the same time as boosting economic growth and business productivity.

“That’s why we’re so keen to increase the proportion of our residents qualified to Level 3.

“Our regional economy increasingly requires high level skills so it’s important we meet that need and support our further education colleges to deliver those very skills.”

Across the region, job vacancies that require a level 3 qualification pay on average £4,000 per year more than those that don’t.

Yet while qualification levels in the region are increasing, they remain lower than the national average, with just 54.9 per cent of residents qualified to level 3 or above, compared with 61.5 per cent nationally.

Coun George Duggins, WMCA portfolio lead for skills and productivity and leader of Coventry City Council, said “It is very encouraging to be able to showcase the WMCA’s strong efforts to improve the training offer for residents.

“Around one in ten adults in the WMCA area have no formal qualifications and we must do all we can to support them to improve their credentials and get them on the right path to better employment.”

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