An innovative training scheme has delivered a significant recruitment boost for the region’s expanding tram network.
West Midlands Metro joined forces with two local colleges to drive an initiative aimed at equipping people with the skills needed to apply for jobs created by the future expansion of the tramway.
Now, nine people from the first cohort of students to join the Sector-based Work Academy have trained as Customer Service Representatives after completing a four-week programme developed by Dudley College and City of Wolverhampton College.
Delivered in partnership with the Metro, the programmealso has the backing of local jobcentres and includes IT training and help with literacy and numeracy, customer service and a range of other skills required for a career on a successful tram network.
Carl Williams, Director of Operations at West Midlands Metro, explained: “The initiative has proved a huge success, supporting our plans for future growth whilst creating a range of career opportunities.
“We also have a number of people training as drivers after completing the Academy course, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the team over coming weeks.”
While not all those who took part in the programme have landed jobs at West Midlands Metro, the training has equipped all participants with a broad range of skills to improve their chances of finding work.
Mr Williams added: “The success of the scheme clearly demonstrates the benefits of employers and colleges working together to help people to get back into work with skills valued by potential employers.”
Having completed their Customer Services Representative training, Lee Guest (left) from Stourbridge and Robin Johnson from Wolverhampton embark on the next stage of their new careers – learning how to drive a tram. Lee, 46, joined the Sector-based Work Academy programme after being made redundant from his agency lorry driving job while Robin also joined the course after a spell of insecure self-employed and agency delivery work.