Midland Metro Alliance helps get careers on the right track

Working with local colleges, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), councils and other funding bodies, the Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) is supporting the design and delivery of a bespoke six-week Sector Based Work Academy (SBWA) in Light Rail.
The training programme offers unemployed candidates across the region aged 18 and over an opportunity to achieve accredited qualifications, develop personal skills and gain practical work experience. The aim is to encourage candidates to consider careers in construction, engineering and light rail.
The pre-recruitment course also gives candidates a guaranteed interview for a variety of roles available at the MMA.
The participating colleges are:
• Dudley College (Dudley and the Black Country)
• City of Wolverhampton College (Wolverhampton)
• Birmingham Metropolitan College (Birmingham North, Central, West)
• Solihull College (Birmingham South, East)
Alejandro Moreno, Midland Metro Alliance Director, said: “With development in the region at an all-time high, it will have an impact on the availability of skilled and semi-skilled labour, so regional investment is vital to equip candidates with the relevant skill-sets to build long term careers and most importantly give them a choice for employment.”
The Wolverhampton students started the programme on 20 March 2017 and it is proving successful as a 30-year-old former construction worker testified: “I enrolled on the course in the hope I would find a long-term career. The course sounded ideal as it would give me skills relevant to an employer and guarantee me an interview with them at the end. I have obtained so many new skills and gained a much better idea of what a job with the Midland Metro Alliance would be like – courses like this are a great idea.”
In addition, Birmingham Metropolitan College and Dudley College candidates commenced their studies on 24 April, whilst lessons at Solihull College got underway on 2 May 2017.
The Midland Metro Alliance has been appointed to build a number of extensions to the region’s tram network over the coming decade by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which has made skills and productivity one of its key priorities alongside better public transport.
Phil Hewitt, Metro Programme Director for Transport for West Midlands, part of the WMCA, said: “The WMCA wants its infrastructure projects, such as these Metro extensions, to benefit and employ as many local people as possible but also wants to see that replicated for the many other schemes, both public and private, that will be built over the coming years.
“That’s why the WMCA recently launched its Skills and Productivity Commission which aims to equip people with the skills required by the employers of today and tomorrow. This scheme set up by the Midland Metro Alliance is exactly the sort of idea that will help develop those skills and build a reservoir of talent in the West Midlands which will support the region’s economy for many years to come.”
The Midland Metro Alliance is further committed to developing and retaining a local talent bank and is currently recruiting for graduate placement opportunities to “grow its own” in-house workforce.