Free training for a job on the railways for local unemployed people

Local unemployed people are to be given free training leading to a job on the railway network on successful completion of the programme, as the region ramps up its Covid-19 recovery plans.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has partnered with the City & Guilds Foundation to create a new training and jobs scheme, which will see 16 unemployed people gain the skills they need to help maintain the region’s rail lines.

Funding for the training is being supplied by the City & Guilds Foundation and the training itself will be provided by Intertrain, specialist provider of railway training and a City & Guilds Group business. The employment programme is designed to reach people who need it the most to gain a City & Guilds Level 2 qualification in track maintenance, after which they will receive a guaranteed job interview with a local employer and the prospect of building a meaningful career in a sector facing significant skills shortages.

Using its strong knowledge of the region, the West Midlands Combined Authority has helped to bring these opportunities to unemployed people by providing a network for City & Guilds to reach local employers and Jobcentres.

Martin Hottass, Managing Director - City & Guilds Technical Training said: “The economic disruption caused by Covid-19 has left thousands of people in the West Midlands region out of work. We are delighted to be working with the West Midlands Combined Authority to offer bursaries to 16 people in the area, giving them the opportunity to get qualified and start great new careers in the rail sector with real opportunities to progress.

“These bursaries are open to anyone, regardless of their previous experience or skills, and will enable them to make the transition into a new role in just seven weeks. City & Guilds Group is a charity and we reinvest our profit back into skills development. Our bursary scheme is one of the many ways we support people and local economies to progress.”

How to apply >

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All successful bursary recipients will receive guaranteed job interviews on completion of the training. Employers including ISS Labour, Mcginley and Coyles are involved with the scheme and offering jobs upon successful completion.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “These are extremely difficult economic times given the damage to our economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but we must do all we can to continue to create local jobs for local people.

“The government’s support is helping protect jobs in the West Midlands. But it’s impossible to protect every single one. That’s why it’s critical that we help those people who lose their jobs to get back into work as quickly as possible. The West Midlands Combined Authority is doing this by working with further education and private training providers, and employers across the region, to help equip local people with the skills and qualifications they need to land new jobs in growth sectors that are recruiting now. These include construction, digital, and health and care.

“We know that our construction sector and our investment in infrastructure projects will be crucial in driving our economic recovery, and that HS2 and regional rail upgrade projects such as our extension of the West Midlands Metro provide opportunities for local people to secure long-term employment, with the potential for career development.

“We are delighted that the West Midlands Combined Authority is able to support this initiative by City & Guilds, providing people in the region with access to new jobs and contributing to our ambitious plans to expand and improve the local infrastructure.”

Political and business leaders from the West Midlands have set out a 10-point plan for the region to recover from the economy, and one of these key priorities is to get people who have lost their jobs back into work quickly. To achieve this, the West Midlands Combined Authority is determined to ensure that jobs created in growth sectors, such as infrastructure, go to local people and that residents are equipped with the skills and qualifications needed by employers who are recruiting.

The learners are expected to start their training in November.