Life Time Skills And Employability
The government have announced a 'Lifetime Skills Guarantee' and more recently an extension to the furlough scheme. At the same time, It’s hard to see an end in sight to the current pandemic. But for thousands of people across the UK, their jobs depend on it. The Government’s Job Retention Scheme has kept unemployment under control for the time being, but many people believe that this is only delaying the inevitable and that unemployment will sore when the scheme ends, and businesses struggle to get back on track.
With so many jobs under threat and businesses closing, it’s a very worrying time and has led to a surge in demand for ways to up skill or retrain to secure employment elsewhere. Young people especially may need to do this to stay in employment.
The good news is that the Government has announced the Skills Scheme that will launch in April 2021. The ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’ has the aim to offer adults without A-levels or equivalent a free college course to boost their employability in the post-Covid landscape.
The plan is for the Government to fund the college courses as part of its National Skills Funds, a £2.5bn package put together to get people working again once the pandemic lessens. The college courses can be taken at a time and place to suit the employee.
The Prime Minister reiterated chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent comments that not every job can be saved and said:
“What we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs. So 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.”
What Responsibility Do Employers Have?
This is all well and good but what about employers? What should they be doing to keep the staff they have in the meantime?
Ideally, businesses should retain and retrain their staff to avoid any unnecessary unemployment. Doing this improves staff engagement and enhances the emotional wellbeing of staff.
As well as keeping employees skilled with regular courses and training, this might be a good opportunity for employees to explore a midlife career change. Retraining staff can also be a cost-effective way of developing your existing pool of employees and accessing new skills that your business needs, it will improve staff turnover too with employees feeling more valued and confident.
With staff being furloughed or working from home, now might be the perfect time to offer online courses and visual learning for your team. The Open University as well as most local colleges provide courses in most areas as well as trade associations for your business sector.
None of us know when this pandemic will end but, for employers, the time is now to re-train your staff and save jobs.