Five universities in the West Midlands are to share more than £3m in Government funding aimed at helping people through the economic downturn.
The cash, from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, matches funding already raised by the institutions.
Aston University in Birmingham will get just over £1.5m, Birmingham City University is in line for £330,000, Coventry University will see £499,325, Keele University is to receive £450,240 and Staffordshire University will get £295,493.
The funding is part of £27.5m being handed out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to over 70 universities and colleges across the country.
Aston University will work with other local institutions to issue vouchers to small firms that will buy academic advice and to put graduates in work experience placements.
Birmingham City University will use its cash to help the steel making, manufacturing, engineering design, construction, automotive, aerospace and utilities industries.
Coventry University will set up networking events, conduct consultations with companies and deliver short training courses. Keele University, which has also been helped by Stoke City Council, will run courses to develop skills in environmental management.
Staffordshire University will invest in its careers department, help people to re-train for different jobs and support local businesses with facilities and advice.
Minister for higher education David Lammy said: "Universities in the West Midlands have demonstrated that they are central to the fiscal stimulus that local communities, businesses, families and young people need."