A new campaign, ‘An Hour to Skill’, has launched to encourage the UK’s workforce to dedicate an hour a week to online learning to improve their skills.
The ‘An Hour to Skill’ campaign aims to inspire people to set aside an hour of their time to take a free online course from the government’s Skills Toolkit, an online learning platform launched last year in response to the first Covid-19 lockdown.
Some of the nation’s top employers and educational institutions including Amazon Web Services, FutureLearn, Cisco, Lloyds Bank, LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft, The Open University have been involved in designing the 70-plus courses available. These online courses aim to further develop skills that employers are looking for, such as communicating effectively at work and practical maths, as well as boosting digital skills or building a professional online presence.
Since launching in April last year, there have already been more than 130,000 registrations for courses via The Skills Toolkit.
The courses aim to enhance individuals’ job prospects, giving them easy access to skills that could unlock job opportunities in a competitive market, or help them get ahead in their current role. People can dip in and out of their chosen course at their leisure, choosing to learn whenever it suits them best. By highlighting flexible options for developing skills, The Skills Toolkit aims to help boost the UK economy as it recovers from the impact of Covid-19 as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs.
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, 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, The Open University said:
We’re pleased to share relevant, high-quality, free OpenLearn courses via The Skills Toolkit which have appeal across the spectrum, and to be supporting the new An Hour to Skill campaign. 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.”