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Learning and Work Institute (L&W) is developing and delivering pilots to support workers who need to reskill as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Covid-19 is primarily a public health crisis, the public policy response has also created economic challenges. Unemployment continues to rise and the sectoral nature of this recession means that many workers will be required to retrain and change careers.

These employment impacts are not equally distributed and exacerbate previous inequalities. Those with greatest need to up- and re-skill are more likely to: live in localities with already high unemployment, work in sectors that are more at-risk, have lower qualification levels and less access to training, and are currently in low paid work. In other words, they are least resilient to losing their jobs.

In order to address this challenge, there is a need for high quality, locally based programmes of career changer support that will engage at-risk workers and develop and deliver skills provision to meet the needs of current and future jobs.

This programme will provide direct support to more than 6,000 beneficiaries across the UK. Five place-based 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 tailored and targeted outreach activity to engage those disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
  • Deliver high quality careers advice and coaching, based on local labour market information, future skills needs and local skills profiles.
  • Create local sector-based partnerships to identify and/or develop training for specific career pathways and jobs.
  • Establish flexible models of training delivery (including intensive short courses delivered face-to-face and/or online) to fit with adults’ wider work and family commitments
  • Provide financial support for career changers to ensure affordability and reduce cost barriers to reskilling.
  • Invest in, and build the capacity of, local voluntary and community sector organisations to provide sustainable career change support throughout and beyond the lifetime of this project.

Briefing Paper

Reskilling for career change

Working with partners

In order to ensure that this programme is successful, we will need to work with a range of partners including local government, employers, training providers and community organisations.

We will create local partnerships in each of the pilot areas to help design and deliver the pilots; by assessing local skills gaps and labour market need; by identifying who has been most affected by the pandemic and would benefit from career changer support; and by developing tailored employment and skills support to facilitate career change.

If your organisation is interested in getting involved as a partner please contact us using the details below.

Policy and practice

As well as providing direct support to career changers, this programme will establish a robust evidence base on what works in supporting reskilling for career change. We will work with national and local policy makers across the UK to ensure that the programme informs the development of policy and practice and we will also create a range of practical resources, such as ‘how to’ guides for practitioners and employers not directly involved in the pilots.

Engagement and dissemination

A project advisory group will be established to help oversee the programme and assist in raising the profile and impact of our work.

As our work progresses, we will regularly share our findings though research and policy papers, and through a series of events and webinars.

Over 8,000 people to be supported into new careers

Press release

Further information

If you would like further information, please get in touch.