A leading college group is helping businesses to future-proof their workforces and bridge the skills gap by launching two skills centres in the region.

WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) is offering free training for employees through its new Centre for Culture & Tourism Skills and Centre for Digital & Cyber Skills.

The centres, which are part funded by the European Social Fund, will provide the service for employers of any size in Coventry and Warwickshire.

To benefit from the Centre for Digital & Cyber Skills, employees do not specifically have to be working in the digital or cyber sector, but in roles with digital skills needs.

The centre will provide skills training in digital, IT, robotics, programming, 3D design, and leadership and management.

Employees must already work in the culture and tourism sector to access the Centre for Culture & Tourism Skills, however the training can be in any discipline relevant to their role.

There will be training available in hospitality, IT, finance, customer service, marketing, business administration, leadership and management.

The training at both of the virtual centres will be delivered in a range of ways, either at one of the WCG college sites in the region, online or at external offices.

Ryan Smith, who is leading on the Centre for Culture & Tourism Skills for WCG, said the centre comes at the perfect time with Coventry UK City of Culture in 2021 and the offering is shaped by the Shakespeare’s England’s Destination Management plan.

He said: “It’s an exciting time for culture and tourism in the region, but there is still a significant skills gap in the sector and we hope this training provision can help to bridge that.

“The training provided will be tailored to employers and specifically targeted at businesses in the two sectors.

“Employers or employees can contact us immediately in order to organise training sessions for 2020.”

Hayley Lineker will be leading the Centre for Digital & Cyber Skills and says the programme is tailored to needs identified in the CWLEP 2016 Strategic Economic Plan.

According to the Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 only 29 percent of people in the West Midlands have essential digital skills for the workplace.

She said: “It’s crucial that businesses are future-proofing workforces in the new digital age, helping to manage further change more effectively.

“We haven’t limited the digital and cyber training to a specific sector, as we believe businesses from all sectors can take advantage of this provision.

“There is a strong, growing digital landscape here in Coventry and Warwickshire, but businesses always need to look to the future, across all sectors.”

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