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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Developing skills for the post-coronavirus world

Advice for employers

With nearly all of us at home and plenty of us with time on our hands, now is a great time to invest in yourselves with some training.

The Government has launched free training courses, which will help ensure candidates have the best prospects when the crisis is over. Encouraging agency workers and other candidates to take advantage of these free courses will pay off in the long term, improving their skill set, job prospects as well as the relationship with your agency.

For recruiters, these free courses can complement more focused learning such as REC’s training courses to improve your teams’ skills. While you can’t mandate training for furloughed team members and candidates, they might be thankful for the opportunity to upskill.

New government Skills Toolkit

The Government has launched The Skills Toolkit. This online platform gives free digital and numeracy courses to everyone. The courses, which range from beginner level to advanced, are provided by organisations such as Google, the Open University and Cisco.

With many candidates looking to use this period productively, accessing this tool and getting their CVs ready for the post-crisis economy is to be encouraged.

Importance of digital skills

Maths and digital skills are highly valued by employers. It’s not just technology jobs that require digital skills. It has become a requirement across all sectors and at all skill levels, with an estimated 82% of job vacancies requiring some form of digital skills.

However, there is strong evidence that many of us lack the basics. A 2019 study by Lloyds Bank found that 17.3 million working people (53%) in the UK do not have the essential digital skills that are required for their work.

At the other end of the scale, demand for people with high-level digital skills is greater than the supply of suitably qualified employees, and the gap is growing. In a CBI report from last year, 99% of businesses said that they will need more advanced digital skills in the next five years.

Recruitment training

For recruiters who are looking to upskill, the REC has a great range of training courses. Due to the current situation our training courses are all online and there is a 25% discount. These range from an introductory course on recruitment practices to advanced courses in recruitment law.

The Department for Education has asked for REC members to promote the new toolkit to candidates currently furloughed. Please do encourage candidates to have a look at the courses on offer, especially via LinkedIn.