Coventrians to benefit from £500,000 training boost to gain new jobs and skills

The programme will have a focus on Coventry’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, using the City of Culture status as a starting point to move the learners into work. 

Hundreds of local unemployed people are to benefit from a £500,000 training programme to help them gain new jobs and life skills ahead of Coventry City of Culture 2021.

The year is expected to bring £350m into the West Midlands and support thousands of new jobs across the city and the surrounding area, offering a vital boost to the region’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.  

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is funding a training programme to help disadvantaged local people in the city by giving them the skills they need to secure these jobs and improve their long-term career prospects.

Local training provider PET-Xi will be training unemployed Coventry residents in skills applicable to the creative, digital and tourism sectors, with a focus on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, using the city’s status as UK City of Culture as a starting point to move the learners into work. 

PET-Xi will be supporting residents to secure apprenticeships and events-related jobs across the city and region in hospitality, production, sales and customer service roles.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, explained that it is absolutely vital that we use the brilliant opportunity of the City of Culture status next year to create local jobs for local people.

“Getting people skilled up and into work will be a critical part of the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and this is particularly important for the culture and hospitality sectors,” he said.

“By upskilling local residents to prepare for Coventry City of Culture 2021, we will help these sectors recover and give some of the most disadvantaged people in the city the support they need to move into work.

“The West Midlands Combined Authority is already the single biggest investor in City of Culture next year, and I am pleased we are continuing to build on that.”

Martin Sutherland, chief executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said he was delighted that the WMCA’s support will allow PET-Xi to deliver the programme.

“It will give young people across the city the necessary skills to make the most of the fantastic opportunities Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture will bring,” he said.

Fleur Sexton, managing director of PET-Xi Training, said: “We are very grateful to the WMCA for enabling us to help hundreds of local people to fulfil their potential in Coventry in the lead up to and during City of Culture 2021.

“We are looking forward to starting in the summer.”

The £500,000 training boost is in addition to the £31m funding package from the WMCA to enhance and improve Coventry city centre as part of the preparations for 2021.

Anyone who would like to learn new skills can find out more about online courses funded by the WMCA at beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/productivity-and-skills/online-resources/.