Metro Mayor offers chance to boost skills

Peoplein Bradley Stoke will be supported each year to get new skills and progress in work as part of a new scheme from Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Plans for the ‘Skills Connect’ programme are a key plank of the Mayor’s Jobs and Skills Plan, which got the backing of the region’s three council leaders at a meeting of the Mayoral Combined Authority last month.

The idea behind ‘Skills Connect’ is to draw together the 250-plus jobs and skills programmes in the West into one place – to make it much easier for all residents who want to upskill, reskill or progress in their jobs to find and access the programmes that will best help them.

The plan will be to have a really easy-to-use website as well as a network of expert advisors and coaches who will be able to provide tailored one-to-one support to help many more local residents move on and into work.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This is great news for residents. Skills and training are a really important part of my role as Metro Mayor, and I’m proud that my Mayoral Combined Authority is helping over 10,000 people in our region every single year get the skills they need to move into high-quality and well-paid jobs that meet the needs of employers.

“But I’ve long been concerned that the skills system is much too complicated and difficult for residents to navigate, meaning those who could gain the most from support from the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority are missing out. I want to change that. So I’m delighted we’ve agreed my Skills Plan including plans for a jobs and skills one-stop-shop for firms and workers to make it easier than ever for locals to acquire and develop new skills and develop their careers. The Mayoral Combined Authority I lead has a real focus on helping talented local people get the training they need and deserve to access good-quality, well-paid secure jobs in the West.”

The committee also heard how the Mayoral Combined Authority has been super successful in building a jobs and training offer for local people, with the value of its services trebling from £20m to £60m in the two years since Mayor Norris was elected.