New Futures logo

Our flagship programme, New Futures, is supporting workers who are looking to change career and reskill as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This work is funded by the Covid-19 Support Fund.

The programme includes three strands of work:

  1. Four place-based pilots to test potential solutions to reskilling and career change at a local level
  2. Evaluation and analysis
  3. Sharing what we learn to help shape policy and practice

About the pilots

We are working with partners across the UK to deliver four place-based pilots aimed to support workers affected by Covid-19 to reskill and change career. Pilots are being delivered in Edinburgh, Belfast, Wales and Tees Valley.

The pilots have been designed to reflect the needs of local labour markets and the skills of local populations, and all of them involve:

  • Tailored and targeted outreach
  • High quality careers advice and coaching
  • Practical solutions to address barriers to reskilling, such as flexible models of training deliver and help with childcare or travel costs
  • Working closely with local partners, including employers, skills and employment support services, and voluntary and community sector organisations

The pilots are running until the end of September 2023 and will be evaluated to help L&W to help create a robust evidence base to demonstrate to policy makers what works in supporting workers to reskill and change career.


New Futures in Belfast is led by Belfast City Council, who are establishing a Technology Employment Academy, which trains and supports people to secure employment in the city’s growing tech sector. The Academy also helps local employers to access the skills they need to sustain and grow their businesses. Those who successfully complete the Academy are guaranteed a job interview and receive aftercare to help them achieve a positive and sustained employment outcome.

Read the latest blog from our pilot in Belfast
Read the first blog from our pilot in Belfast


New Futures in Edinburgh is led by Capital City Partnership. The pilot enables individuals who want to reskill to gain entry-level qualifications in a new sector, by linking them in with a Vocational Training Academy offering courses in a variety of sectors, including health and social care, digital and creative industries, and business and financial services. Individuals registering for these courses have guaranteed interviews with recruiting employers at the end of their course and careers advisors continue to support candidates either to find alternative suitable employment or to sustain their new job.

Read the latest blog from our pilot in Edinburgh
Read the first blog from our pilot in Edinburgh

Tees Valley

Tees Valley Combined Authority is working with local employers and established skills academies to understand current skills demands and the local labour market to ensure people are matched to available job opportunities. The aims are to test what works in supporting individuals to change career by providing intensive career coaching alongside skills training,  and supporting residents adversely affected by the pandemic into sustainable, progressive careers.

Read the latest blog from our pilot in Tees Valley
Read the first blog from our pilot in Tees Valley


New Futures in Wales is led by Chwarae Teg, who are working with training providers and the local fintech industry to support and empower women to switch careers into tech. The pilot is providing a targeted and tailored training and support programme to access career pathways in the digital sector, addressing individual barriers to training and employment, such as childcare and transport.

Read the latest blog from the pilot in Wales
Read the first blog from the pilot in Wales

Over 100 people across the UK have switched career as a result of our reskilling pilots

Stakeholder Reference Group

We are delighted to have experts from business, employment and skills services, unions, local government, housing and the voluntary and community sector to help shape and inform our work on career change and reskilling. Our stakeholder reference group is providing independent advice, support and challenge to New Futures by reviewing the programme’s policy plans, commenting on emerging findings and acting as champions for impact.

With thanks to:

  • Alex Farrow, Head of Networks and Influencing at NCVO
  • Ann Watt, Director at Pivotal
  • Chris Luck, CEO of Shaw Trust
  • Ian Price, Wales Director at CBI Wales
  • Jasbir Jhas, Senior Advisor at Local Government Association
  • Kevin Rowan, Head of Organisation and Skills at TUC
  • Lynsey Sweeny, Managing Director of Communities that Work
  • Nicola Inge, Employment and Skills Director at Business in the Community
  • Philip Whyte, Director at IPPR Scotland

All change


Adult Participation in Learning Survey 2023


Learning for career change


Reskilling for career change

Briefing paper and event

Reskilling for net zero

Briefing paper and blog