Businesses, young people and adults across the West Midlands are set to benefit from a new skills deal, which could unlock up to £69million, the Education Secretary has announced today (18 July).

The skills deal agreed with the West Midlands Combined Authority will boost digital and technical skills, job opportunities and productivity across the region – supporting more young people and adults into work as well as upskilling and retraining local people of all ages.

The Government will co-fund the new skills deal, alongside employer funding and the West Midlands Combined Authority will invest £20million into this area as set out in their Skills Plan.

The new deal includes:

Creating hundreds of new apprenticeships at small and medium sized businesses in priority areas, including in construction, automotive and digital sectors – helping increasing job opportunities for all.
A multi-million investment in local colleges – ensuring they have access to the latest equipment and facilities to teach the skills the region and the country need, including digital, and construction.
Up to £5million to work with employers to develop a National Retraining Scheme (NRS) pilot to drive adult learning and retraining.
£1million to boost Edtech and the way it supports adult learners in the West Midlands.
£1million to improve careers advice for young people, including a new careers hub in the West Midlands.
Piloting an innovative online portal for businesses to share work experience opportunities with schools.
Some of this country’s most acute skills challenges are found within the West Midlands, which the skills deal will aim to address through the new funding and support for the West Midlands economy, driving local growth. This deal builds on the work already underway through the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to boost productivity and earning power across the country. This includes investing in maths, digital and technical education to help generate well-paid, highly skilled jobs across the country.

To help boost the region’s digital and cyber skills Government will launch a new Local Digital Skills Partnership in the West Midlands bringing together regional businesses, local authorities and educational institutes to tackle the digital skills gap and support the growth of the local economy.