This week the Department for Education launched a new online learning platform, the ‘Skills Toolkit’, offering free online training courses in digital and numeracy skills. The service signposts learners to high-quality and flexible courses through the GOV.UK website.
Why it’s important
The world of work continues to change, bringing the need for many of us to reskill at multiple points of our careers. The CBI has long campaigned for the government to support businesses in equipping the workforce with skills for the future. But this skills challenge has only been exacerbated by the circumstances Covid-19 has presented, both in the immediate and longer-term recovery.
With many people currently working and studying remotely, and on furlough, the platform offers employees an opportunity to develop their skills while they are at home. The platform is also designed to help support people’s mental health, wellbeing and confidence.
What it includes and who can benefit
The Skills Toolkit meets a range of needs and is open to everyone – irrespective of age, employment status or current skill level. Businesses can signpost employees who are looking to grow their skills and get ahead online. The courses are short and flexible, providing a springboard for learners who may be able to expand their horizons within your organisation.
The courses on offer cover a range of levels, from everyday maths and tools for using email and social media more effectively at work, to more advanced training. Individuals will be able to access courses which help to improve their digital ability, including a course on the fundamentals of digital marketing from Google Digital Garage; and learning how to code with the Open University.
“Online learning is a great way for people to upgrade their skills at any time, but never more so than during a lockdown,” says Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director.
“The toolkit’s heavy emphasis on the skills that businesses need are welcome. Maths and digital skills are highly prized by employers, so for those who take the chance to upskill they can help improve their job prospects and career progression. I'd encourage all businesses to make their staff aware of this learning opportunity.”