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The Beginner’s Guide to Upskilling

Have you thought about teaching your employees additional skills or acquiring new skills yourself? Then upskilling may be for you. Through this blog post, we take you through the role of upskilling, the benefits, and options out there.
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The Beginner’s Guide to Upskilling

Have you thought about teaching your employees additional skills or acquiring new skills yourself? Then upskilling may be for you. Through this blog post, we take you through the role of upskilling, the benefits, and options out there.
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You may be a Birmingham business looking to give your team further training or a professional hoping to spruce up your CV. Whatever your reason there’s an approach out there for you.

What is upskilling and why should I do it?

Upskilling is the process of learning new skills or teaching your employees new skills to better themselves or the business you’re in.

Participating in upskilling comes at an important time where industries need to adapt quickly to the impact of COVID-19 and the economy.

Likewise, it’s more important than ever for the government and local organisations to provide greater access to funding and educational opportunities.

So what upskilling opportunities are out there?


STEM-Up

STEM-Up is a professional development initiative, part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) focused on helping professionals and businesses in the Greater Birmingham area.

The project is run in partnership with Birmingham City University, Aston University and Solihull College and University Centre. It provides an array of free courses in ‘Soft skills’, ‘STEAM skills’ (critical thinking) and STEM-skills to local businesses and professionals.

The programme offers a whole host of different training. From Level 1 soft skills to improve your communication to degree-level technical skills.

You will also be partnered with a dedicated Skills Advisor from one of the partners who will work with you to assess your needs.

Does it cost me anything?

The project is free for all professionals and businesses living or registered in the Greater Birmingham area.


The Skills Toolkit

Another initiative is the government-led The Skills Toolkit, this time open to all businesses and professionals in the UK. This offers a series of free courses to support individuals in learning a new skill or get a new job. From computer essentials, to computer science and coding.

Unlike STEM-Up, The Skills Toolkit focuses on providing training for specific skills. However, all courses are available online and are provided by The Open University, Google, Amazon, and FutureLearn.

Does it cost me anything?

The Skills Toolkit is also free and can be accessed online through the campaign site.


The benefits of an upskilling programme:

Greater staff retention

Upskilling can help keep your staff roles filled and reduce the risk of high turnover. According to a ‘The Skills Toolkit’ survey there is a high percentage of employees who would stay at a company longer if there was a greater investment in their career development.

– New possibilities

New skills in the business, help you open up other possibilities for the business, and boost productivity in the team. It also helps you as an individual to develop and become more valuable to the company if the workforce is at risk.

– Expert advice

In many cases, the training or delivery of training will be given by experts in the field. STEM-Up offers dedicated Skills Advisers to assess and support individuals with filling their skill gaps needs.

– Fits around your daily commitments

Flexibility is a key characteristic of these programmes. With increasing pressures during lockdown, one of the biggest benefits is that many of these courses offer blended or vitual learning.

This allows you to work at your own pace at a time that suits you.

Finally, is it right for me?

Unlike reskilling where you are retraining, upskilling is a great opportunity to improve your existing skills or learn new skills to help you improve your current performance.

Upskilling is beneficial to both employee and employer regardless of where you are in your career journey.

When thinking about upskilling and whether it is right for you, think about:

  • How will upskilling help in your current workplace?
  • Is there a particular task you do that you want to improve on?
  • Are there particular skills you need to change your career or progress in your business?
  • Surveying all the options out there and choose the right training for you and your needs.

I’m ready!

Great! Enquire directly for the STEM-Up programme below and get started on your upskilling journey!

Still not sure? Remember, if you would like to find out more about upskilling opportunities or skills development in general our Higher Level Skills Match team are always available to advise on skills opportunities suitable for you.

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