Electoral Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street was at Sandwell College to officially open its Construction Gateway workshop.
The Mayor was visiting Sandwell College to see how students and staff are helping to achieve the West Midlands Combined Authority’s ambition to grow a world-class construction industry. Construction students had the chance to meet the Mayor as he cut the ribbon on the plastering and dry lining workshop funded by the WMCA as part of its Construction Gateway project.
Since his election in May 2017, one of the Mayor’s major aims has been to invest in apprenticeships and skills training to make sure that manufacturing companies have the skills they need to succeed, and for the West Midlands to become a world-leading centre for construction, contributing to a strong economy so the region can compete with other global city-regions. Housing is also a high priority as it forms a critical part of the region’s economic growth potential. The WMCA plans to make the Black Country a leader in the field of modern construction methods.
On cutting the ribbon the Mayor said: “It is brilliant to be here to launch the Construction Gateway workshop. Good luck to all of you, the first people through it, and thank you to all the staff and the Principal for helping to make this happen. The Construction Gateway Workshop is another great example of how the West Midlands Combined Authority is helping to both get people into work and bridge the construction skills gap.”
Sandwell College Principal and Chief Executive, Graham Pennington, said: “It’s a real pleasure to welcome the Mayor of the West Midlands to Sandwell College to officially open our Construction Gateway workshop. We are proud of our commitment to bridge the construction skills gap in the West Midlands and make a positive impact in the community by upskilling people and being an integral part of the solution to the skills shortage.
“We are especially proud to be in a prime position to train the future workforce for a sustainable industry and recruit local people into meaningful sustainable employment, vital for our regional economy, particularly with the Midland Metropolitan Hospital and the Sandwell Aquatic Centre for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 on the horizon and in our heartland.”
Sandwell College is bridging the construction skills gap in the West Midlands by opening doors to local candidates and maximising employment outcomes. The College is building strong relationships with construction sector partners and recently welcomed regional employers to its Construction Business Breakfast to support the West Midlands Combined Authority Construction Gateway project.
The Construction Gateway pilot project is dedicated to recruiting currently unemployed people into the sector at no cost to businesses, and Sandwell College is one of the training providers directly involved.
© Photograph by HNC Photography student Nicole Cooper