Shaw Trust and Learning and Work Institute are to support the reskilling of more than 8,000 people who have been affected by the pandemic. A donation of £6.3m from the Covid-19 Support Fund, established by the insurance and long-term savings industry, will enable the two organisations to boost the services they offer for adults looking to find a new job, change career or retrain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest ONS figures show that 2.6 million people are claiming unemployment related benefits, more than double the level at the start of the crisis in March 2020, and the redundancy rate has reached a record high.1 The sectoral nature of this recession also means that many workers will be required to retrain and change careers.
The donation will enable Shaw Trust to launch a Care and Construction Academies programme across the Central and Home Counties regions to support more than 2,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to reskill rapidly and develop a rewarding career in care or construction. Shaw Trust has been helping people find the right career for more than 30 years and the new Care and Construction Academies will offer impartial careers advice, support to plan for a future career and easy to access, high quality, flexible learning and career-specific qualifications. These qualifications, which are required by regulatory authorities for all recruits, will enable participants aged 18 or over to access the care and construction sectors of the economy which are currently witnessing significant vacancies and skill shortages. Those taking part will also benefit from wellbeing and peer support giving them the confidence and skills to start their new career.
Learning and Work Institute’s New Futures programme will develop and deliver pilots to support workers who need to reskill as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project will directly support more than 6,000 people across the UK. Five local pilots (two in England and one each in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) will be tailored to reflect the needs of local labour markets and the skills of local populations.
The programme will provide targeted outreach activity to engage those disproportionately affected by the pandemic. It will deliver high quality careers advice and coaching, based on local labour market information, future skills needs and local skills profiles. The programme will also invest in, and build the capacity of, local voluntary and community sector organisations to provide sustainable career change support throughout the lifetime of this project and beyond.