The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced additional measures to help colleges and training providers meet the rising cost of equipping people with the skills they need to land jobs.

Funding rates, which are the amount paid by the WMCA to a training provider for each person who gains a qualification, are to be increased by 10% throughout the academic year of 2022/23. The increase will apply to courses funded through the WMCA’s Adult Education Budget.

The move is aimed at strengthening the financial resilience of providers, ensuring they can continue to design and deliver new training programmes that help residents gain the skills needed to find a new or better job and employers to fill vacancies and meet skills needs.

Alongside this, the WMCA is also looking at how residents can be better supported with the wider costs of learning such as transport and childcare, as well as providing additional support, such as mentoring, to enable learners to achieve their ambitions.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said “A key part of my mayoral mission is to help ensure local people have access to excellent employment opportunities right across our region.

“That’s why this increase in devolved adult education funding is so important. By supporting our education providers in this way, we’re backing the valuable work they do to equip our residents with the skills they need to be able to access high quality employment. From construction to digital – from health to social care – there are jobs available here across a wide variety of sectors.

“Given cost pressures providers have been facing in recent months – for materials, wages, utilities and facilities management – I’m glad that we’ve been able to extend a helping hand at this time as we continue in our efforts to build a brighter future for local people.”

Cllr George Duggins, WMCA portfolio lead for skills and productivity and leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Every year, WMCA funded adult education courses provide thousands of residents with the chance to train and develop skills in those sectors where we see most demand from employers. It is a fundamental part of our strategy to bridge the skills gap and increase opportunities for local people.

“The additional funding measures will be a welcome boost for training providers, allowing them to continue to focus on what is most important – training students to add much needed talent to businesses across the region.”

To find out how the WMCA is helping local people gain access to training opportunities, visit: