Black Country Skills Factory funding secure until 2019

Stewart Towe

The Black Country Skills Factory, which designs and develops education programmes for business, has been awarded additional Growth Funding of £317,500, which will see it through to 2019. The Skills Factory has worked with 450 companies, 40 schools, 189 apprenticeship programmes and has delivered over 500 of its ‘bite size’ courses through its ‘best in region’ partnership with FE Colleges and other training providers.

The additional funding comes from the Education and Skills Funding Agency as part of the Black CountryEuropean Social Fund (ESF), and it will allow the Skills Factory to develop and deliver another 650 ‘bite size’ courses to Black Country businesses.

Providing courses which address the skills shortage in the Black Country economy will be given a significant boost by this additional funding. The Black Country LEP has identified five transformational sectors in the local economy which the Skills Centre can now focus on.

Advanced Manufacturing, Transport Technologies, Building Technologies, Environmental Technologies and Business Services are the target sectors that the Skills Centre can focus their efforts on as they are seen as key to the growing employment in the region, and the courses will ensure that employers have access to a skilled and well trained workforce.

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.”