Combined authority unveils £25m boost for adult skills

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Thousands of adults across the West Midlands will benefit from better skills and jobs thanks to a £25m training boost.

The investment means unemployed adults and those in low-paid jobs will have the chance to boost their skills for jobs in the region’s fastest-growing industries, with adults earning less than the real living wage in the West Midlands will be able to access a number of training courses for free.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We want everyone in the region to benefit from our booming industrial sectors such as digital and construction – but we need to help them access the right skills training to get jobs in these industries. This £25m skills boost will do exactly that.

“We’ll use this funding to get more unemployed adults into jobs, provide free training for low earners, and upskill thousands so they can get even better jobs and earn more money.

“The Combined Authority is incredibly passionate about getting as many people into work as possible, which is why we launched our new work placement scheme last week and have today announced this latest funding boost.”

The funding comes from the devolved £126m adult education budget (AEB), now managed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The WMCA has already committed to providing the region’s colleges and local authority adult education providers with the same level of funding they received in 2017/18 – around £98m of the total £126m AEB.

The remaining £28m of the devolved AEB was put out to tender, with contracts worth £25.1m awarded to 21 training providers and 46 sub-contractors, the majority of which are based in the West Midlands region.

From the 21 providers, 62% are based in the regio