Bite-sized training modules designed specifically around business needs and business cycles are at the heart of a new skills programme offering more than 10,000 workers the opportunity to train up to graduate level.
The £3 million West Midlands Business Operations – Business Leadership project has been developed closely with businesses to meet real needs, raise productivity and boost performance in the West Midlands workplace.
Supported and funded by regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, the project is a unique collaboration between the region’s universities, colleges, and specialist training providers and is facilitated by Foundation Degree Forward, the national organisation for the promotion and development of higher skills in business.
The three-year project is developing innovative, easily accessible, higher-skills training with a fundamental emphasis on the measurable impact that participants have on the performance of their businesses.
Partners in the project met in Birmingham on Wednesday to review progress as activity moves into the operational phase, and to plan for the year ahead.
Mick Laverty, Chief Executive at Advantage West Midlands, said: “The project is the first of its kind in the UK and offers businesses a truly innovative way to improve the skills and productivity of workers. It is a timely intervention that is helping business when they most need it and will be at the heart of economic growth and job creation in this region as the economy continues to recover.
“Advantage West Midlands is committed to playing our full part in the development and delivery of the Regional Skills Strategy and Action Plan, as well as to the priorities set out in the West Midlands Economic Strategy. That is why we have invested our resources and funds in this vital new programme, which will help our businesses and workers develop the capabilities and capacity to succeed and grow.”
Sally Glenn, chair of the programme steering group and Pro Vice Chancellor at Wolverhampton University, said: “The work undertaken by the region’s Higher Education Institutions in collaboration with Foundation Degree Forward and Further Education colleges is a case study in good practice to enable collaboration between HEIs to meet the needs of local industries and businesses through work-based learning”
Derek Longhurst, Chief Executive of Foundation Degree Forward, said: “We are very pleased to have been asked to lead and facilitate this unique and innovative project funded by AWM. All of the evidence shows that regional economies will need higher level skills developed in the workplace if they are to prosper in a global context. This project will break down existing barriers in imaginative ways and forge a spirit of partnership and collaboration across the region.”
The new programme is the latest part of a wider programme of activity co-ordinated by the Regional Skills Partnership, which is helping to align skills supply to meet the needs of employers, individuals and the economy of the region.
For more information visit www.businessoperations.org.uk