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Momentum for upskilling builds as Selby College launches new adult learning programmes

As part of its commitment to enhance learning and upskilling, Selby College has expanded its adult learning offer with two brand new programmes.

The ‘Opportunity Escalator’ and ‘Essential Digital Skills’ courses provide learners with the chance to build digital and employability skills at a variety of levels and through a range of qualification sizes. The programmes offer adults the chance to progress through a range of pathways, to career development, progression to leadership and supervisor roles, starting their own business or becoming a community leader.  

As many individuals face uncertainty, have been left unemployed or reflected on the need to change career due to the coronavirus pandemic, programmes such as these can provide clear guidance for the future. To support those who are currently unemployed or on a low income, many of Selby College’s adult programmes will be free to a number of learners. In addition to this, 18-24 year olds can also enrol onto the College’s full-time A Level and Vocational programmes for free.

Paul Cliff, Assistant Director of Business Development at Selby College, said: “In today’s challenging economic environment, being able to seize opportunities is more important than ever. Many people now find themselves at a career crossroads or may find themselves out of work due to the current situation and are confused or unsure about the direction to take. That is why it’s critical that we encourage and support adults in their return to education and our two new courses are designed to do exactly that – opening up opportunities for adults to upskill their way to new career paths.”

The Opportunity Escalator uses an individually structured approach that will see learners consider their skills, interests and abilities and learn how to use these as a match to future opportunities and to identify the direction they want to move in.

The programme is designed with individual progression in mind and has four main pathways so that learners can customise their skills for their chosen career.

“We are currently facing a significant skills shortage in the UK and this has only been worsened by the pandemic. As a result of this, it’s critical that the education sector is able to make its services accessible to adult learners to ensure they have the skills to enter tomorrow’s workforce and rebuild the economy,” said Diane Hodgson Recruitment Manager at Goole and Selby Jobcentre Plus. “The Opportunity Escalator is an exciting new product that is a manageable way for adults to build and tailor their skillset to prepare themselves for their dream career path or job.” 

According to research, more than 11 million people in the UK do not have the digital skills necessary to succeed in the workplace or to actively engage with an increasing range of digital services[1].

Addressing this, the ‘Digital Skills’ course enables learners to develop a range of digital skills, such as working with digital devices, solving basic technical issues, the safe viewing and sharing of digital content and creating, editing and storing of digital media.

Both of the courses are flexible and can be completed in learners’ own time, meaning they can be carried out alongside part-time and full-time work, studies and other commitments. The qualifications have no formal entry requirements but are aimed at a range of learners and are modular in nature.

The new courses are available as part of Selby College’s recently launched Adult Learning Hub, which is a fully resourced facility exclusively for adult learners. The Hub provides one-to-one support for adults looking to gain Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths; IT skills and to increase their opportunities through the new schemes.

This comes following the department’s appointment of Sarah Jarvis into the new role of Adult Skills Coordinator. As part of the newly developed role, Sarah will support students and assessors in the delivery and assessment of Functional Skills qualifications for Apprentices, and work with learners, employers and local agencies to develop employability, enterprise, upskilling and community development opportunities.

To support those wanting to go into employment, Selby College is also currently offering six-month traineeships which prepare students to enter the workplace. Applicants who were unsuccessful in applying for an apprenticeship at the College are also offered the opportunity to join the programme, whilst being supported in applying for further apprenticeships.

To find out more about Selby College’s range of adult courses, please visit: https://selby.ac.uk/adult-skills/courses-for-adults/

 

[1] Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Digital skills and inclusion - giving everyone access to the digital skills they need, 2017.

Published: Monday 20 Jul 2020