The Skills Toolkit offering free digital skills courses launches in the UK to boost employability
The Department for Education in the UK has recently announced an online learning platform with digital skills courses that UK citizens and residents can access for free – called The Skills Toolkit.
Hosted on the government of UK’s website, Gov.uk this new platform allows access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help those in the UK gain new skills for the workplace and boost their job prospects amidst a volatile economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital and numerical skills are highly valued by employers in the UK, and with more people expected to be working remotely in the coming months, the platform will serve as a good opportunity to develop new skills and gain a competitive edge when the economy picks up again.
According to Gov.uk, 82% of all job vacancies in the UK require digital skills and are they are highly valued by employers.
Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “The impact of Covid-19 has shown how important digital skills are – both for work and other aspects of our lives. Technology is going to play a hugely important role in our economic recovery and this new platform will help ensure everyone is able to improve their digital skills and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”
The platform also offers furloughed employees the opportunity to keep up their skills development while they are at home.
The Guardian recently reported that millions of British workers have recently been furloughed, with the government expected to pay 80% of the salaries of approximately 6% of the entire population.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “I know how difficult the recent months have been and the huge changes the coronavirus has brought on the daily lives of us all.”
“The high-quality and free to access courses on offer on our new online learning platform, The Skills Toolkit, will help those whose jobs have been affected by the outbreak, and people looking to boost their skills while they are staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.”
“I want businesses to encourage their furloughed employees to use The Skills Toolkit to improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health.”
What’s in The Skills Toolkit?
The free online courses offered on the platform cover a range of levels – introductory, intermediate and advanced – to appeal to those at different stages in their career.
They include courses such as How to Create Great Online Content, where users will learn the best practices for communicating effectively online, and the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, an advanced course covering topics like creating a website, marketing your business locally and internationally and advertising using social media.
The online courses have been developed by the University of Leeds, the Institute of Coding, Google Digital Garage and Open University, and other reputable online education providers.
All courses on offer are flexible and 100% online so that users can access them anytime and work at their own pace.
You can also access a Skills Assessment on the National Careers website, which takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete, so you can get a better understanding of jobs that may suit you and which areas you may need to upskill yourself in.