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Mayor Welcomes £3.3million Funding To Boost Skills For Local People

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today welcomed £3.3million in Government funding secured for a scheme to give workers in the region the skills they need to improve their careers.

The Mayor and Combined Authority have been awarded £3,285,438 to expand the delivery of successful Skills Bootcamp programmes, helping more people into a rewarding career.

Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills, including in the digital, construction and clean energy and HGV driving sectors, and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

The funding boost is expected to support at least 1,000 adults across the region in the 2022/23 financial year. Thousands of people right across England have already benefitted from accessing skills bootcamps developed with employers; this grant award will ensure people even more people in the Tees Valley benefit from this opportunity.

This is just the latest tranche of cash to help upskill people in the region, with £30.5million in Adult Education funding previously devolved for a third time for the academic year 2022/23.

Skills Bootcamps sit alongside other adult education initiatives taking place in the area, such as Teesworks Skills Academy and bespoke employer-led skills programmes, which were established by Mayor Houchen to help give local people the expertise they need to take advantage of the jobs and opportunities being created in Tees Valley.

Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure this funding, helping us to work ever more closely with employers and learning providers right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to give adults the skills our businesses are crying out for, helping them to get the good-quality, well-paid jobs they deserve.

“Skills Bootcamps are another string to our bow to make sure people can progress in the cleaner, healthier and safer industries of the future that we’re delivering for local people, as well as other growing and innovative sectors such as digital and creative.

“Thanks to the devolved adult education budget, which we only receive by virtue of having an elected Mayor, we’re giving everyone who needs it the opportunity to access skills development and the chance to succeed. On top of that the Tees Valley Careers initiative, and its expansion into primary schools, is getting our young people on a path that’s right for them from an early age through to adulthood, making sure no one is left behind.”

Cllr Bob Cook, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead on Education, Employment and Skills, said: “Everyone across the Tees Valley should have the opportunity to advance and access to training so they thrive in their chosen careers. This welcome extra funding will help them do just that.

“We have a long and successful track record of working with our learning providers and businesses to make sure companies from all around the region are equipped with the right workers with the right knowledge to help them grow. Now we can target hundreds more people, upskilling them to fill those skills gaps and, ultimately, secure better jobs.”

Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Alex Burghart said: “Skills Bootcamps are a highly effective way to learn skills at pace in a range of in demand sectors including digital, construction and green transport.

“This funding boost will support even more adults across the region to take advantage of these free courses and get on the path to well-paid careers.”