Major employers and L&D providers including Cisco, Lloyds Bank, LinkedIn Learning and The Open University have backed a campaign that encourages individuals to dedicate an hour per week to online learning.
The An Hour to Skill campaign hopes to encourage workers to improve their skills in areas in high demand by employers by taking a free course from the government’s Skills Toolkit.
Since launching in April last year, more than 130,000 people have registered for courses via The Skills Toolkit, it has been claimed.
The courses, which range from practical maths to digital design and marketing, aim to help enhance individuals’ prospects in their current role, or by providing the skills needed to secure a new job in a competitive market.
Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan said: “I’m delighted to launch An Hour to Skill and thank all of the great organisations that have joined forces to help boost the nation’s skills and job prospects at such an important time for our economy.
“Progressing your learning doesn’t have to be a mammoth task – spending just one hour a week on a free online course can make a real difference to your earning potential. We’re confident that learning through The Skills Toolkit can give you the skills employers are looking for.”
Professor Tim Blackman, vice-chancellor at The Open University said: “We’re pleased to share relevant, high-quality, free OpenLearn courses via The Skills Toolkit.
“All courses have appeal across the spectrum, with opportunities for all regardless of age, life stage or prior level of learning. Using our world leading expertise and capability in online teaching, our short courses are imaginatively designed to inform and educate in a time-sensitive way.
“We hope people continue to benefit from their skill-boosting content and for employers to back them too. We know that for many these free courses have been a lifeline in these difficult times and can provide a stepping-stone to more formal learning.”