West Midlands Metro focuses on creating a skilled workforce for the future
A new sector-based work academy is aimed at the long-term unemployed and provides an insight on what it is like to work in the light rail industry.
Students from Dudley College visit the West Midlands Metro tram depot
West Midlands Metro has joined forces with Dudley College and City of Wolverhampton College to drive an initiative to equip people with the skills needed to apply for jobs created by the future expansion of the tramway.
Aimed at the long-term unemployed, the Sector Based Work Academy has the backing of local job centres, and the first group of students from Dudley College recently visited the tram depot in Wednesbury.
During the tour they witnessed a little of what it’s like to work in the light rail sector and an insight into the day-to-day operations of a busy tram network.
Carl Williams, Director of Operations at West Midlands Metro, said: “Our plans for future growth are already creating a number of career opportunities across the business.
“The programme has been developed alongside our ongoing recruitment of driver customer services representatives and we’re looking for a number of specific skills.”
Working closely with the tram, the two colleges have developed a four-week academy programme that includes IT training, help with literacy and numeracy, customer service, various aspects of health and safety, including road safety, and developing important employability skills such as producing a CV and interview performance.
Claire Scrimshire, Head of HR at West Midlands Metro, said: “Delivered by GTG Training, the programme is matched to actual vacancies that’ll become available over the coming months and covers customer service, diversity awareness and first aid – essential skills for anyone working on the Metro.”
During the visit to the depot, some students also had the opportunity to test their driving ability on a state-of-the-art tram simulator.
Neil Thomas, College Principal Dudley of Technology, commented: “We are delighted to be working with West Midlands Metro to provide the trained workforce they need to be able to deliver the new tramway. The investment in transport infrastructure is a vital part of driving economic growth and boosting job opportunities across the region, something we are pleased to be playing a part in.”