Free online training to help reskilling across West Midlands

Hundreds of people are applying for a new range of 18 free online training courses aimed at reskilling people across the West Midlands.

The courses are being offered by BCTG Group, the leading workforce training organisation, as part of a £1.5m Adult Education Budget funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The training will result in certificates in subjects ranging from Food Hygiene to Mental Health Awareness, from Principles of Management to Digital Skills for Work, and from Upskilling in English and Maths to Health and Well-Being.

Chris Luty, chief executive of Oldbury-based BCTG, said: "We’re delighted to be offering these courses with the objective of reskilling people or giving them extra skills and qualifications.

"By developing themselves in this way, workers can equip themselves to become more useful to employers, and thus avoid potential redundancies by offering new skills in the workplace.

"For other people, the courses can help them to build their skills, qualifications and confidence while they are looking for employment, or searching for even better jobs.”

All courses last for around three-weeks, are running to the end of July, and are fully funded for residents in the region.

Mr Luty said the initiative pre-dated the current COVID-19 pandemic but explained that the lockdown and resulting economic uncertainty made it even more timely and crucial for people to make sure they had the right skills.

He added: "These courses are free of charge for anyone living in the West Midlands and could help them to find employment, to keep their current jobs, or to find even better roles.

"We’ve already had more than 400 people apply to join the courses and are able to accommodate more than 1,000 people between now and July.”


BCTG continues to grow with acquisition of PTP Training

BCTG Group, the West Midlands-based training organisation, has acquired PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, means the expanded group will now have a turnover of over £20 million and employ around 200 people.

PTP Training becomes part of BCTG Group, which includes BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

Based at European Business Park in Oldbury, BCTG has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Across the group, the organisation supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year, offering 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16-18-year-olds.

These include everything from healthcare and early years care, to engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.

BCTG Group chief executive officer Chris Luty said: "Performance Through People has a tremendous reputation for high quality flexible training and this, alongside the existing BCTG offer, means employers in the region can now source all their training and recruitment needs from a single one-stop shop.

"This means simpler, more cost effective training, built around their business needs.”

PTP managing director Rod Colbourne and his management team will continue to lead the company as part of the group.

He said: "We are incredibly excited about joining the BCTG group, which enables us to increase our delivery portfolio, benefiting all of our customers. Being part of a substantial skills and education group will allow us to contribute both regionally and nationally, at a time when supporting employers and their staff is more important than ever.” 

 New centre in West Bromwich to train next generation of construction workers

A new centre in the Black Country will start work training the next generation of young builders in the coming weeks, thanks to help from commercial property agency Bulleys.

Training group BCTG is aiming to start youngsters on the first courses at the new centre in Kelvin Way, West Bromwich, by the middle of February.

It is the first in a new series of construction training centres BCTG is launching as part of a £2 million expansion programme.

Director Chris Luty said: "BCTG is one of the largest independent training providers in England. Each year we train over 10,000 young people and adults in a range of vocational and technical skills in areas such as health & social care, early years education, engineering, construction, management and business services. We operate nationally at employers’ premises or from our local skill centres.

"As part of our aim to support the skills needs in the West Midlands, we have committed to invest over £2 million to develop a series of new Construction Centres across the region. The centres will offer young people between 16-18 and adults from 19+ access to a range of skills in bricklaying, painting & decorating, plastering, roofing and cladding. Each centre is at the heart of the local community, ensuring easy, flexible access for all.

"The first centre at Unit 34, Kelvin Way, West Bromwich will offer its first course from 10th February 2020.”

Mr Luty added: "If HS2 goes ahead the industry estimates it will need an extra 50,000 trained construction workers. Even without that the growth in housebuilding in this region, let alone the constant construction work under in Birmingham, has created an urgent need for young building workers.

"Our new centre in West Bromwich will be able to cater for up to 40 young people at a time, probably on 12 week programmes. So we could be training up to 200 people withing a few months of starting. The initial focus will be young people aged 16 to 19, but we expect to be training adults too.

"We will be providing them with the vital basic skills in bricklaying, woodwork, roofing, plastering; getting them ‘site-ready’ and qualified with their CSCS certification so they can start work. We will also provide training in various skills to Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ.”


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