Iman discusses free retraining on BBC News

8th March 2021

A Solihull College & University Centre student featured on BBC News last week showcasing the construction skills she has learnt as part of a retraining programme. 

Iman Khan, 28 from Birmingham, lost her job because of the pandemic and found herself searching for another path. She had always had an interest in construction so jumped at the change to retrain with the College and partners RMF. The College and RMF are working together to fill skills gaps on large infrastructure projects in the region with a workforce that is trained locally. Iman has now secured work on a large Lendlease development in Perry Barr.

The government have created a 126-million-pound fund to help retrain people affected by the pandemic. Iman states: “Covid happened and I lost my job. I have a daughter and I wanted to be the best I could be for her – to show the sky’s the limit in what you can do.” 

Further education colleges across the West Midlands have joined forces to offer free courses as part of the ‘Reignite your future’ programme. More than 5,000 adults are set to benefit from free training over the next year as part of the programme, funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, to help them gain jobs in one of the region’s growth sectors. 

Lowell Williams, Chair of Colleges West Midlands commented: “The jobs are beginning to open up again. We do have vacancies, in engineering, advance manufacturing, construction and health and life sciences. We want local people to retrain to take those jobs.” 

Find out more about the ‘Reignite Your Future’ programme.