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Making the most of online training opportunities

Allen Associates, News & Blog

Traditionally, employees will be provided with training opportunities from their line managers which will be designed to meet corporate needs. However, as employees continue to work independently at home, it may be much harder for line managers to establish what training is needed and how it can be implemented. For firms who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus, it may also be difficult to support a business case for a training budget.

However, despite the challenges facing firms across the UK, numerous online training opportunities are freely available which may help individuals improve their skills and expertise. For some, it could be advantageous to undertake training to boost their chances of gaining a promotion. For others (perhaps those who have been furloughed and are concerned about job security), taking the time to participate in online training could enhance their employability.

With this in mind, we’re sharing details of some online training resources that we feel may support our candidates.

Make the most of The Skills Toolkit

The UK government has launched a new Skills Toolkit which is a free resource designed specifically to help boost digital and numeracy skills. The government estimates that 82% of all jobs require some form of digital skills, and they hope that people can use the resources to help them improve knowledge and enhance employability.

“The high-quality and free to access courses on offer on our new online learning platform, The Skills Toolkit, will help those whose jobs have been affected by the outbreak…

I want businesses to encourage their furloughed employees to use The Skills Toolkit to improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health so they have skills they need to succeed after the coronavirus outbreak.”

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education

The platform has been designed to provide a wide range of training opportunities for people of all levels of seniority. Courses have been developed in conjunction with organisations including the University of Leeds, Google Digital Garage, and the Open University.

More courses may be added onto the platform in the future, but current options include “How to create a professional online presence”, “How to create great online content”, “Learn to code for data analytics” and most importantly, “An introduction to cybersecurity”.

We believe that many of these training courses are highly applicable to the workplace, so if you have completed the course, it is worthwhile updating your CV or LinkedIn profile to show what you learnt and how you’ve applied it into practice.

Pay attention to the Universal Framework for Essential Skills

Also launched this Spring was the Universal Framework for Essential Skills which has been developed by the Essential Skills taskforce comprising of organisations including the CIPD and Business in the Community.

Although designed to support those who are about to enter the workplace for the first time, the framework is beneficial to everyone because it highlights the skills that employers are looking for. The framework has been designed to focus on what ‘technical’ skills may be needed within the workplace as well as the ‘essential’ and ‘basic’ skills required.

The framework could be used by those returning to the workplace as a form of self-reflection to see if they have any areas which could be improved through training and development. Job seekers may wish to use the skills builder ‘daily challenges’ – not only can they help with self-reflection but they could be a valuable resource when it comes to interviewing preparation and learning how to structure answers effectively.

Don’t forget about the Google Analytics Academy

Those working in marketing roles will know of the importance of Google Analytics. This free tool not only gives you insights into how your website is working, but it allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your audience. For marketing professionals, this data is invaluable. It can help to develop new campaigns and new ways of working, as well as identifying which areas of a website may need improvements.

We recommend that marketing professionals take the time to complete Google’s free academy courses. With options for beginners as well as advanced, and power users, there are options for people of all levels. The training is designed to help make the most of the tool and can be an effective way of helping to understand the growing importance of data analytics.

It may also be beneficial for HR teams to understand how to use Google Analytics. For example, those using a digital recruitment strategy may wish to understand how effective it is. The tool can show where applicants are coming from (perhaps a specific job board or social media channel), as well as identifying who the applicants are. If the strategy is attracting the wrong type of candidate, then the use of Google Analytics can help to pinpoint any areas for improvement.

Remember to check in with your professional bodies

Another place to look for online training opportunities is via professional bodies. Organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the CIPD, or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants may have their own training opportunities that people can benefit from. As well as paid-for online courses, they also have regional groups who may be offering networking and development programmes, or community forums where people can meet and learn from others.

In sectors such as marketing or HR, having the opportunity to network and learn from peers can spark inspiration and creativity, and we highly recommend that this should continue even whilst remaining working from home. Taking the time to contribute to social media discussions or network with others online can help develop new skills in ‘softer’ ways than traditional training courses.

At Allen Associates, our trained consultants know how to help our candidates improve their employability and boost their skills. To find out more about how we support our candidates, please get in touch