#LoveOurColleges: South & City College Birmingham at centre of economic rebuild


College News and Communications
Wednesday, 14 October 2020 10:27

Birmingham Grand Central Unsplash Credit Brian Lewicki

To mark the start of Colleges Week 2020, we’re joining with hundreds of colleges across the UK to shout about the central role that educational institutions like South & City College play in economic rebuild, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

From engineering and construction to retail and health care, our college has a long history of working with employers and job centres to provide webinars, training programmes and apprenticeships to either upskill current workforce or for retraining opportunities to those that are long-term unemployed. We can also offer bespoke training courses for employers. For more information about what can be provided, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Webinars

We regularly host webinars for employers in order to help local businesses receive up-to-date information about best practice and how to make the most of available training opportunities.

The next webinar – Apprenticeship, Traineeships, KickStart Scheme: What do they mean and what’s best for you? – takes place on 29 October, 10-10.45am.

Currently there is a range of incentives and schemes available to help employers find future talent and funding to upskill their workforce to meet skills needs. This can be a muddled landscape and South & City College is offering employers the opportunity to find out about the different schemes, how they work and which may be best for you.

To book your place and join this webinar please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Engineering

GKN Aerospace in Kings Norton is closing in June 2021 and 140 employees are at risk of losing their jobs. South & City College is in the early stages of supporting those employees, initially by providing fact-finding sessions to find out how they wish to move forward and to sign-post opportunities for retraining if required.

Construction

During the summer of this year, when the pandemic was taking its toll on jobs, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) rolled out a programme to get people back to work within the construction sector. Birmingham has many large-scale building projects, such as HS2, the Commonwealth Games village and high-rise developments, which means construction workers will be in high demand for quite some time.

The WMCA are funding construction courses aimed at those who are new to the construction industry and have been unemployed for a long time, or who have recently been made redundant due to Covid-19 and are wanting to change career. These courses are also aimed at those who already have some experience within construction, but their licences to work on a building site have lapsed and need to be renewed. You can talk to your job coach at the Jobcentre for more information about how to take advantage of these programmes.

Retail

Earlier this year, we partnered with the supermarket chain Morrisons and a local job centre to provide a Pre-employment Training Programme. All students were previously unemployed, aged between 18 and 60+ years old, and looking for work.

We worked with the Jobcentre to attract applicants and run a telephone interview day, after which successful candidates were invited to a college assessment day. We customised and developed the training to meet the specific requirements of Morrisons and also to provide qualifications to all that took part. Training included customer service, communication, food safety, equality and diversity, resolving complaints and skills such as CV writing and interview techniques, positive mind-set and much more.

Karen Hancocks, People Manager for Morrisons, said on graduation day back in March 2020: “We have a need to recruit 120 colleagues and all 33 who graduated through this programme will be invited to interview, having passed this training with flying colours. It’s looking likely that we will take them all on.” Read the full story to find out more.

Healthcare

Health and social care workers in Birmingham are benefiting from free training to give them better qualifications and careers, thanks to a pilot scheme also being funded by the WMCA. The full cost of some higher-level health and social care courses at South and City College Birmingham is being provided to support the sector by upskilling key workers, following the unprecedented demands caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To be able to offer our staff accessible training opportunities and achievable qualifications during Covid-19 has enhanced morale and offered inspiration in these difficult and sad times,” explained Camilla Barrow, Clinical Education Lead at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, which has booked places for ten employees. Read the full story.

Apprenticeships

Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said, “Apprenticeships at all levels offer vocational routes into work which allow businesses to access the skills they need as workforces develop.

The Chamber has taken on apprentices over the last few years and a number of these individuals have remained with us as key members of their teams. We are proud to contribute to skills development in Greater Birmingham and support the important work of our fantastic local colleges, including South & City College Birmingham.”

Learn more about apprenticeships at South & City College Birmingham.