City & Guilds has partnered with the leading social learning platform FutureLearn, to turn the tide on unemployment in the UK and help individuals who work in industries impacted by Covid-19 to reskill and switch careers into growing industries or those facing labour shortages.
Created using employer insights, Skills Bridges will identify the overall potential of a candidate and determine whether individual attributes could be transferred seamlessly into other industries and occupations. It will offer candidates the tools and knowledge of the sector they need to gain direct entry into a new occupation and industry. Candidates will receive a City & Guilds digital credential upon completion.
The news comes as the latest set of employment figures from ONS indicate that over half of workers (52.5%) that changed jobs in the quarter after coronavirus hit, went into completely different sectors . Skills Bridges have been developed in response to rapidly changing labour markets, and to help workers transition to new sectors and industries in the coming months, particularly as the furlough scheme comes to an end.
The Skills Bridges programme is set to grow in the longer term in response to how the UK jobs market evolves in the coming months and will include FutureLearn courses in sectors such as digital, infrastructure, engineering and manufacturing.
With around 4 million people across the UK expected to be unemployed by the end of the year, the Skills Bridges programme aims to create a vital link between industries that are reducing their workforce due to the economic consequences of Covid-19, and growing sectors which require a related skill set.
The first phase of Skills Bridges is due to launch in mid-September and will focus on the social care sector. The Step into Social Care course, which will be available on the FutureLearn platform, will promote the social care sector and the jobs and progression opportunities it can offer. With one-third of all vacancies in the UK currently in the health and social care sector, and over 100,000 jobs available in social care, it aims to help transfer workers into the industry in the coming months.
Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City and Guilds Group said: “At a time when the jobs market is becoming significantly tougher, we are incredibly proud to partner with FutureLearn to take decisive action to help people gain access to new careers in sectors where there is growth and there are job opportunities. We are committed to doing everything possible to help people get back into ‘good work’, whether they have found themselves unemployed because of the pandemic or just want to find a new career path.”.
“With the UK job market undergoing some considerable systemic shifts and subject to wide regional variations, recognising and leveraging valuable transferable skills is only going to become more important. Our emphasis on mapping the transferable skills, potential and agility of workers into areas of employment need creates a win-win. It helps displaced workers unlock a new career path and it gives employers access to new sources of talented and industry-ready potential employees.”
Justin Cooke, Chief Content and Partnerships Officer said: “The national jobs market has faced a huge amount of disruption over the course of this year and will continue to do so with a huge impact on people’s lives and the UK economy, That’s why we are proud to partner with City & Guilds, FutureLearn’s first ever Further Education partner, for the launch of the Skills Bridges initiative.
Through this partnership we hope to help empower the millions of UK professionals currently without work or facing unemployment to access vital training opportunities, recognise the skills they already have and step into sectors such as healthcare, digital and infrastructure, where there exists unprecedented demand for talent. It’s this level of reskilling and upskilling that’s required to help the UK economy recover from this pandemic.”