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Welsh colleges offer free courses for furloughed staff

SOURCE: Photo by ULISES RUIZ / AFP
The impact of the pandemic has affected many industries, with many people looking at ways to gain new work skills


By U2B Staff 

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The Welsh government recently launched a new scheme that will provide free college courses to working professionals and recently furloughed staff in the region through a Personal Learning Account scheme.

The new scheme is set to provide over 1,000 free courses, developed by colleges in Wales across various sectors that are ripe for job opportunities. These sectors include construction, finance, IT, health and safety, project management, and engineering.

Gower College Swansea, The College Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot (NPTC) Group of colleges, Pembrokeshire College, and St David’s Catholic College are just some of the colleges that will be offering their courses for free through this government-led initiative.

The courses on the learning platform are curated to bridge some of the most pressing skill gaps in the region and are set to provide upskilling in priority sectors in Wales.

Pembrokeshire College is providing its courses on business and management, engineering, hospitality and catering, sports, and well as teaching while Gower College Swansea is offering its courses in financial services, creative, digital as well as health and social care through this programme.

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This initiative comes at a time when many working professionals find themselves currently on furlough, on a zero hour contract, or whose jobs are at risk.

Through this scheme, professionals who are most vulnerable to suffer from the negative ramifications of COVID-19 will have an opportunity to safeguard their careers by setting up a Personal Learning Account.

The fully-funded part-time courses hosted on the Personal Learning Accounts are now being rolled out nationally to help thousands of people in Wales boost their skills and employability.

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Employers and stakeholders across the region worked in partnership with colleges to develop the courses that will be offered for free. This is to ensure that professionals enrolled in the courses will benefit from real-world learning, preparing them to take on industry challenges.

This initiative will be a viable learning option for those who are still working, either full-time or part-time. All courses offered on the platform are part-time and completely flexible, designed for study around other commitments such as a current job.

Many courses are delivered online allowing learners to study remotely and according to their own schedule.

Minister for Education Kirsty Williams commended this initiative, saying that the impact of the pandemic has affected many industries, with many people looking at ways to gain new work skills.

By leveraging local colleges, Personal Learning Accounts is designed to help people in employment, recently furloughed staff, and whose jobs may be at risk.