Successful launch of Black Country Skills Factory courses

Aim to address the region’s skills gap.

Wolverhampton based Total Construction Supplies Ltd are one of the first companies to take advantage of the fully funded bite-sized training courses provided by the Black Country Skills Factory. These courses have been set up to address the skills gap in the Black Country and are co-funded by the European Social Fund and the Skills Funding Agency.

Kirsty Russell and Ryan Swingewood are both employed by Total Construction Supplies Ltd and have recently undertaken a bite-sized course in the basics of Autocad which was held at the Wolverhampton Science Park, brokered by the Black Country Skills Factory. The course was delivered by trainer David Nixon.

Kirsty has worked at Total for four years and is currently a steel detailer. Ryan has worked there for 2 1/2 years and works in sales administration. Both were keen to develop their skills in Autocad as the software package is becoming more and more essential in their everyday work in a company that employs more than 80 people.

Kirsty said, “I’ve already used Autocad but only on a basic level. Since there’s only two of us being trained it’s a really focussed session and I’ll be able to go back to my business with a more professional outlook on what we do and I’ll also be able to collaborate on the technical drawings we produce.”

Ryan added, “I’ve never used Autocad before so I am a total beginner but this course has been brilliant. It has made me realise how useful the software is and I’ll quickly be able to change the way I work and I can’t wait to put some of this new learning into practice”

Course Trainer David Nixon commented “This is the second course I’ve run for the Skills Factory and both Kirsty and Ryan have shown real promise. After the second session, they were able to produce a professional drawing and because the classes are so small, it was 100% relevant to their business.”

The Autocad course is series of three hour bite sized courses running over three consecutive weeks. Participants can select some or all of them to meet their individual needs.

Other bite-sized courses run by the Black Country Skills Factory include topics on Excel, LEAN, welding and Vehicle maintenance etc filling gaps in existing provision. To find out more, log on to or email