Unemployment in the West Midlands rose by 5.3% to 238,000 in the three months to October, official figures have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that 12,000 more people were unemployed in the region.
Unemployment in the West Midlands now stands at 8.9 per cent, but the Birmingham Chamber Group claimed the trend could be reversed if more training was introduced.
Christine Braddock, president of Birmingham Chamber Group, said it was imperative that businesses looked at re-training their staff.
She said: “The West Midlands has record low numbers of unskilled people. General upskilling to the national average could mean that there is only a net loss of 28,000 jobs over the next five years.
“Targeted upskilling and economic diversification could create 150,000 new jobs.”
Mike Ashton, chairman of West Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said: “Workers in low skilled jobs are the least likely to receive job related training.
"Hotel and restaurants and the manufacturing sector have over 35 per cent workforces with qualifications below level 2. Retail, wholesale and transport and agriculture have over 40 per cent. It is imperative that employers encourage their staff to gain skills.”
Birmingham Chamber Group said that the labour force in the service sector had continued to shrink during the final quarter of the year.
Although 18 per cent of members said they would be expanding their workforce over the next three months, the figure was down on the 25 per cent recorded last quarter, indicating the inability of firms to take on staff.
The Government was given the grim pre-Christmas news as unemployment across the country increased by 35,000 and the number of young people out of work reached near-record levels.
The jobless total climbed to 2.5 million across the country in the quarter to October, a rate of 7.9%, the highest since the start of the year.
There were 839,000 people unemployed for more than a year, up by 41,000 over the three months and the worst figure since 1997.
The ONS also reported that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work increased by 28,000 to 943,000, one of the highest figures since records began in 1992, giving a jobless rate of 19.8%.
Male unemployment increased by 11,000 to 1.46 million, while the number of women out of work rose by 24,000 to 1.04 million, the highest total since 1988.
There was also a rise in the number of people classed as economically inactive, including people looking after a sick relative, students or those who have given up looking for a job, up by 22,000 to 9.29 million, a rate of 23.2%.
The category showing the biggest increase was those who have taken early retirement, which rose by 27,000 to 1.53 million. The number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 46,000 to 1.16 million, a record high.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 1,200 last month to 1.46 million, although the number claiming for up to six months rose by 11,600 to 954,900. There were 158,000 redundancies in the latest quarter, up by 15,000, the first rise since April.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "These figures highlight the crucial importance of the action we are taking to keep the economy moving forward. It's essential to create a stable environment where businesses can flourish and create jobs - with those on benefits at the front of the queue to take them up."