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Multi-million government funding aims to support unemployed in the West Midlands


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The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has awarded £9 million funding for job training packages aimed at getting unemployed residents back into work quickly to support the region’s post Covid-19 economic recovery.


The funding will be delivered through the Sector Based Work Academy Program (SWAP) and is designed to quickly train up people with the skills the region’s businesses need in sectors such as care, construction and warehousing.


In an innovative approach to SWAP training the £9 million three-year contract has been awarded to Oldbury-based training specialist – BCTG – to develop a consortium of training providers which will deliver the programme region-wide.


Chris Luty, BCTG Group chief executive, said: “We already know the SWAP programme is a really effective way for West Midlands’ residents to access high quality training, that leads to long term jobs; and for employers, is a simple route to access applicants matched to their vacancies.


“BCTG has many years’ experience in the skills sector in the West Midlands. Our role will be to develop a consortium of local training providers who already have close links to businesses.”


Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA’s portfolio holder for productivity and skills, said: “I welcome this investment in people, in opportunities and in training and education.

“SWAPs offer unemployed people a real and tangible route back into work and a chance to learn new, much-needed skills.”

Over the next few days BCTG will be inviting local training providers to become involved. Anyone wishing to find out more should contact [email protected]

Businesses of any size who are looking to fill vacancies are encouraged to consider using SWAP training as part of their recruitment.


Anyone aged 19 and over who receives unemployment benefit is eligible to join a programme and will not lose their benefit during the placement. There is no direct cost to employers, as training and administration costs are covered by government funding.


Written by: David Watkins

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