West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has visited PET-Xi Training’s new Skills Hub in Nuneaton to see first-hand the difference digital training is making in communities.
Skills shortages is one of the key areas the Mayor is keen to address throughout the region to ensure businesses are able to employ qualified digital staff.
Andy met staff and learners taking part in the Positive Futures and ITQ programmes run by PET-Xi Training to break down employability barriers at its Skills Hub in Abbey Street.
The Skills Hub provides work experience opportunities, support to lone parents through childcare and parenting courses, self-employment enterprise programmes and expands on the quality of careers advice for young people through tailored interventions.
Positive Futures is aimed at 15 to 24-year-olds not currently in education, employment or training – or at risk of becoming so – to achieve qualifications and employability skills including being provided with advice and support on applying for jobs, CV writing and interview tips.
The ITQ scheme was also taking place which helps unemployed people back into the workforce through a seven-day level 2 IT user skills qualification.
Andy said it had been great to meet learners benefiting from improving their digital skills through intensive training courses.
“I have come to have huge admiration for PET-Xi Training and since they have recently expanded into Nuneaton, I wanted to come and see what they are doing in a different community which has got slightly different challenges,” he said.
“It has been fantastic to chat to people taking part in the Positive Futures and ITQ programmes and find out more about the work being done to encourage digital skills.
“We know through our research into developing the region’s economic plan that there is a real challenge around the depth and breadth of people’s understanding of digital skills.
“It is great to see people coming together to obtain these skills whether they are changing careers, returning to work after a career break or having not taken these courses at school, because they will have improved their chances of securing their career ambitions through digital training and in turn, that will benefit businesses.”
Fleur Sexton, managing director of the award-winning PET-Xi Training, said she had been proud to explain the courses they were running to the Mayor since they were making a real difference to peoples’ lives.
She said: “We are known for operating at a community level to engage marginalised 16-24 year olds and have a constant track record of success in community engagement – and we are also renowned for going the extra mile to help learners stay engaged and on-track to success.
“We have responded to the CWLEP skills strategy by using the hub to create employment opportunities, equipping the right people with the right skills to meet future employer demands.
“The Skills Hub for North Warwickshire is the focal point of all our courses which interlink to help more people have access to learn digital skills.
“Since we opened the Skills Hub in November, we have noticed we are helping a high proportion of people achieve digital skills as well as basic level English and maths qualifications as part of our Positive Futures course, particularly those with disabilities since our office is accessible to all and learners feel comfortable here.
“Digital Skills is an area which the Mayor is determined to improve and upskilling people in Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft opens up new career paths and also builds a workforce for the future to attract and retain skilled people in the West Midlands.”