The new Foundation Certificate in Digital Skills, which is being funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will give individuals access to a series of online masterclasses that will equip them with the fundamentals of Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Smart Thinking.

Delivered by Scale and Scope, and global online learning platform Elevate.ac, the sessions will be delivered by digital expert Omer Atiker, with learners also able to access three more virtual presentations covering anything from Art Means Business and Exceptional Leadership, to Working from Home and an insight into Electric Vehicles.

More than 2,000 people from across the region have already signed up, with thousands more free places available for individuals looking to upskill and firms keen to redeploy members of staff to other areas of their business.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the region’s manufacturing base at the moment and we want to do everything we can to equip people with the type of skills companies are increasingly looking for,” explained Matthew Snelson, managing director of Scale & Scope.

“Digital is where the business world is going and we have been able to secure funding that gives us free access to Elevate.ac, which is one of the leading virtual learning platforms in the world.”

He continued: “It’s like the ‘Netfix’ of digital skills courses, with participants able to log-in and take four mandatory courses and three masterclasses to suit their specific role or interests, in order to secure the certificate.

“We’re targeted two main groups…people out of work and looking to make themselves more employable for new opportunities and manufcturers who are embracing digital transformation and need to upskill workers in order to keep them in jobs.”

The Digital Foundation Skills Certificate can be completed over the next three months and at a time that is convenient for participants, with people encouraged to sign up by the end of September.

Masterclasses are all professionally created and delivered by experts in their field over a series of bite-sized chapters. They will offer practical advice, insights into new trends and how your new-found knowledge can be applied to everyday jobs.

Rob Clarke, founder of Elevate.ac, went on to add: “For candidates completing the programme, we are also creating pro-memberships of Elevate.ac where individuals can post their video profiles and get coaching from the team to help them gain employment.

“Alongside the Digital Foundation Certificate, the pro-membership package is valued at £2,500.

“Our project will create a pool of people ready for employment, as well as a fantastic opportunity for companies and start-ups to become better placed to make the most of digital opportunities.”