Mayor of London offers skills boost to furloughed workers

training and development

A training provider backed by the GLA and the European Social Fund has launched a new home learning platform to provide free, nationally accredited online training courses to the many thousands of people that have lost their jobs or have been furloughed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Strive Training, a well-established, independent training provider which specialises in delivering courses to upskill unemployed adults aged 19+ was selected by the Mayor of London to drive forward the GLA’s newly structured adult education programme which is focused on getting more Londoners into work.

These programmes are funded by the GLA through the Adult Education Budget and the European Social Fund.

Courses and sector-based programmes are typically delivered face-to-face from its training centres across the capital, however, following lockdown, it has transferred its entire portfolio online to support the unemployed as well as furloughed workers looking to upskill, or even retrain.

Topics such as business management, mental health, digital skills and leadership are being provided, alongside specialist accredited courses in fields such as hospitality and education.

According to the British Chamber of Commerce’s Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, seven out of 10 UK firms had furloughed staff by the third week in April 2020. In addition, hundreds of thousands of firms have applied for assistance to pay furloughed employees through the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.

Jonny Philips, managing director of Strive Training, said: “Our mission is to help as many people as possible through this crisis by enabling them to upskill, boost their employability and help with their overall wellbeing. Thanks to these programmes, those hit with unemployment or furloughed workers with time on their hands can choose to undertake flexible home learning to learn new skills.

“All courses are delivered online, while students also get access to one-to-one support from our dedicated team of  expert assessors. While we don’t know how long the pandemic will continue to affect our daily lives, these qualifications could help shape the future direction of many Londoners’ careers.”

In addition to individuals looking to upskill, employers are also being invited to access the free courses as a way of engaging team members who have been furloughed. This follows a recent comment from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson that businesses should encourage staff to “boost their skills” in order to succeed after the coronavirus outbreak.