A NATIONAL independent training provider is looking to potentially open a new training centre in the town to offer a lifeline to students affected by the closure of Stourbridge College.

Skills Training UK is assessing the level of local demand to determine whether to open a new centre offering Level 2 BTEC qualifications for young people aged 16 to 18.

The training provider, which has four other West Midlands centres including one in Dudley, is asking school leavers, parents/carers, teachers and other community members to register their interest online.

Joanne Heywood, operations manager at Skills Training UK which won Training Provider of the Year at the 2019 Times Educational Supplement (Tes) FE Awards, said: “Our tutors help learners to develop their skills and confidence so they can progress to their next stage – further education, an apprenticeship, or employment.

“With small group sizes and bespoke mentoring support available, we can offer young people the support they need to succeed. But we need to establish local demand first.

“We therefore encourage everyone in the community to register their interest in a Skills Training UK Stourbridge Centre via our online form if they want dedicated post-16 vocational support to continue in the Stourbridge area.”

The new centre would initially provide Level 2 BTEC vocational qualifications in business enterprise, customer service operations, and warehousing and storage for young people aged 16 to 18. Travel support and bursaries could also be available.

Skills Training UK’s learners also complete work placements with local businesses, receive English and maths tutoring up to Level 2/GCSE, and develop their personal skills – allowing them to progress into employment, further education or an Apprenticeship.

To register an interest in a Skills Training UK Stourbridge Centre visit: https://skillstraininguk.com/stourbridge-support.

Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) announced in May that it plans to close long-running Stourbridge College based in Hagley Road this summer.

Consultations are currently ongoing regarding the transfer of staff and students to nearby Dudley and Halesowen Colleges.

Meanwhile - a large-scale march is set to take place this Saturday in Stourbridge as a show of opposition to the plan to close the college. Protesters will gather at the Hagley Road campus at midday.

For full details go to Save Stourbridge College on Facebook.