WMCA’s training boost for Birmingham 2022 CW Games

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BIRMINGHAM: Thousands of local people are to benefit from a new programme to help them land jobs created by the forthcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

As well as bringing in millions of extra pounds into the West Midlands economy, the Games are also expected to create thousands of new jobs – which the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is determined should be filled by local people.

To help make that happen, the WMCA and its partners have launched a new Commonwealth Jobs and Skills Academy, to accelerate and amplify plans to improve regional skills and employment opportunities through the Games. There will be a particular focus on supporting young people and unemployed adults.

The Academy is an umbrella brand for all employment and skills programmes linked to the Games, including: Construction training – including on-site construction hubs and training already commissioned to support the Athletes’ Village.

As part of the Academy, the WMCA has allocated £1m of its devolved Adult Education Budget to fund technical skills development, helping individuals and businesses prepare for Commonwealth Games-related opportunities.

The funding will support training in leadership and management skills to help local businesses in related industries – such as hospitality, catering, events and security – to win contracts for the Games.

There will also be support for local people to gain new skills in digital marketing, event management, hospitality, team leading and sports coaching.

The £1m is the first round of new funding allocated to the Games by the WMCA, with more expected to follow to help local residents and businesses benefit from the event.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “One of the main reasons I was so determined to help secure the Commonwealth Games for the region was the employment opportunities it would create for young people across the West Midlands.“I am therefore pleased that two years out we are already starting to put measures in place to make sure people can capitalise on these opportunities and be part of what is certain to be a generation-defining moment for our region.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Businesses from across the West Midlands could benefit from contracts worth around £300 million in total from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. “In these difficult times, it’s vital that we help local people gain the skills they need to make the most of these opportunities.”