Post Covid Skills Shake Up ToolKit

Posted on Oct 02, 2020

The DfE’s Skills Toolkit has seen an expansion to more than 70 courses in digital, numeracy and employability courses; with national education and training experts, Learning Curve Group, supporting the delivery of key employability programmes.

The Skills Toolkit supports individuals to access bitesize courses, with the aim of encouraging more learners to sign up, to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. There are two new additions from Learning Curve Group, with programmes in ‘handling information at work’ and ‘business and customer awareness’.

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The courses are all free to complete and delivered by trusted providers that sit alongside Learning Curve Group, including Lloyds Bank, Google and Amazon. The expansion is a welcome announcement, particularly as unemployment figures are on the increase as the furlough staff retention scheme comes to an end. It’s clear that there is a huge demand from individuals to be able to access skills training and development.

The announcement to increase the Skills Toolkit comes as part of the Prime Minister’s new plan to transform the training and skills system, helping the country build back better from Coronavirus.

On September 29, the Prime Minister announced a major expansion of post-18 education and training to level up and prepare for the post-Covid economy. In his speech to Parliament, he said: ‘As the Chancellor has said, we cannot, alas, save every job. What we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.”

He added: “My message today is that at every stage of your life, this government will help you get the skills you need. We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.”

Other initiatives that the government has already introduced were also covered in the PM’s speech about transforming the skills system, including grants for businesses who hire new apprentices and trainees, as well as the Kickstart Scheme that aims to create job placements for 16-24-year olds.

Brenda McLeish, Learning Curve Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We feel honoured to be featured in the DfE Skills Toolkit, supporting individuals to gain skills to progress in their career. Throughout the pandemic, our number one focus has been on ensuring that we can continue to support people to gain high quality qualifications. Over lockdown we saw a massive influx of people looking to study an online qualification, so it is clear that there is still a huge appetite for learning and it’s fantastic to see programmes like this introduced and expanded.

“There are some great initiatives announced by the government to support both business and personal recovery; our number one priority now is to support people to access these initiatives. We’ve always been passionate about increasing access to education; and by working with the DfE, businesses and individuals, we can help get the country moving again. We’ve already started working with businesses to access the new apprenticeship and traineeship grants, as well as the government backed Kickstart Scheme. We want to do anything we can to help businesses get back on their feet whilst supporting individuals into employment.

“Education is a vital part of the recovery of this country, and we need to ensure that businesses have the skills they need to bounce back. Our vision has always been to transform lives through learning, and our job has never been more important.”

Jane Hickie, Managing Director of the Association of Employment Learning Providers (AELP), commented: “The Prime Minister’s announcements on Tuesday were very welcome but in the current circumstances, April is a long time to wait for the new adult learning entitlement to kick in. This is why the live Skills Toolkit is such a vital component of the response to the ongoing pandemic and why the addition of high-quality resources from Learning Curve Group to the Toolkit will help transform the blended learning offer for people who want to improve their skills.”

Learning Curve Group has been at the centre of the skills agenda throughout the pandemic, which was maximised after their “Educate Whilst You Isolate” campaign that saw tens of thousands of people looking to study an online course through lockdown. Their aim is to improve access to education, making qualifications more accessible, particularly as more people across the country are facing redundancy.

Dehenna Davidson, Member of Parliament for Bishop Auckland, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Learning Curve Group is part of the DfE’s Skills Toolkit. It’s a great initiative to help people access online learning for free, and it will really support individuals with gaining skills and knowledge to increase employability. Learning Curve Group already does some brilliant work both in the local area and nationally, to support both businesses and the unemployed, so it seems a natural step for them to be included on the DfE course listing.”

Anyone looking to access the courses available with LCG as part of the Skills Toolkit can do so by visiting:

https://lcgonline.co.uk/skills-toolkit

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