Businesses across Wales are being urged to sign up their workforce for free training to help improve and strengthen skills now and for the future.
The Welsh Government’s Personal Learning Account initiative provides free courses leading to qualifications in construction, finance, IT, health and safety, project management and engineering. Individuals from across Wales can choose from more than 1,000 free, part-time courses run by local colleges.
The programme is open to people currently on furlough, on a zero hours contract, or if their job is at risk, providing they are 19 or over and earning under £26,000.
Following a successful pilot with Coleg Gwent and Grwp Llandrillo Menai which saw around 500 people across Wales enrol on fully-funded part-time courses, Personal Learning Accounts are now available across the whole of Wales and aim to help thousands of people gain new skills and qualifications.
All courses are part-time and flexible with them being designed for study around an individual’s job and circumstances. Many are being delivered online meaning staff can study remotely and in the evenings and weekends.
These courses have been specifically designed to match skills gaps already identified in priority sectors in Wales. Employers and stakeholders are continually working in partnership with colleges to develop courses that are relevant to sectors which are expected to create job opportunities now and in the near future.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said:
“The pandemic has hit many industries hard leaving employers looking at how they can future proof their business.
“We have designed Personal Learning Accounts so employers can help their workforce, including those on zero-hours contracts or furlough, to gain new and important skills that will help them progress their careers.
“The courses, which are part-time so they can run alongside current work commitments, offer real and tangible benefits for businesses as well as individuals. By supporting the upskilling of their workers, employers can expect a more engaged and motivated workforce as well as new knowledge and skills in the workplace which can help to improve productivity and creativity within their business.
“We’re calling for Welsh employers to work directly with colleges to help shape the courses they deliver to ensure learners are equipped with the appropriate skills and experience needed to close their existing skills shortages. Whether it’s by offering work placements, mentoring and the chance to apply for jobs, businesses have an important opportunity to get involved now.”
For more information, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/skillsgateway/recruitment-support/personal-learning-account and register your interest.