Training on Furlough
UK workers can and are encouraged to train during their furlough
According to the government advice > last updated on June 15th, “Furloughed employees can engage in training on furlough during hours which an employer records their employee as being on furlough, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation. Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.”
Despite the economic challenges employers are facing, our course bookings have risen up 49% in the same quarter compared to 2019. This was mainly due to employers booking staff working from home on to the HSE Appointed Persons or Basic First Aid courses we provider employers and their employees working from home as E-Learning via our dedicated page here> if your seeking training. Another area of growth for us was employees seeking to upskill during furlough with their employers support. We have seen a 100% increase on learners registering for the Level 3 Award in Education & Training > courses compared to the same quarter in 2019. By having this entry level training award, allows employers to support selected employees to deliver in-house training, thus reducing operating costs for compliance training needs moving forward.
The UK economy has been hard-hit by the pandemic, shrinking by around 20% during the first month of lockdown >. This has had a knock-on effect for employers seeking to place their furloughed staff on our courses, with almost 6 in 10 saying that their financial security has decreased since the pandemic. We are well placed to support employer’s and their employees in gaining the correct level of training at this time. If you live in Wales we are able to support fully funded training under the ReAct II >scheme if you qualify or via other avenues of funding streams. We are also able to accept MOD Standard Learning Credits >subject to the usual approvals via each services scheme administrator.
Furlough and its impact on skills gaps
Pre-COVID-19, one third of businesses believed that they were already not equipped to address skills gaps in their organisations>. In the energy and utility sector alone, 221,000 recruits are needed in the next 10 years to take over from the ageing workforce.
Furloughing has exacerbated the skills-gap issue. With swathes of employees on furlough – 8.9 million jobs from 1.1 million different employers>, businesses are finding themselves scrambling to retain and up-skill or re-skill their employees to cover the skills gaps – which may only be widened with the expected redundancies expected after October 31st.
As business owners and leaders begin to forecast their personnel shortages, we are seeing an increase in the number of searches to cross-train employees, one area we have seen is gaining higher level first aid skills such as the First Aid at Work – High Risk Environments> that supports the Agri-Sectors and the Initial Person on Scene> qualification that supports the renewable energy sector.
Returning to work
Other areas of training business leaders and bookers are seeking is Mental Wellbeing training. Mental health related absence is the most common cause of long-term sickness absence in UK workplaces. Stress related absence in particular has increased, with 37% of respondents to the CIPD and Simply Health Health and Well-being survey> saying that stress-related absence had increased in the last year. Work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounts for 44% of work-related ill health and 54% of working days lost, in 2018/19 (HSE, 2019>). As well as sickness absence, poor mental health at work can lead to increased staff turnover, reduced engagement and high presenteeism. Our fully accredited suite of Mental Health & Wellbeing> training courses are suitable for all staff plus training courses for business owners and mangers in supporting their staff in returning to work. These courses are led and delivered by our expert mental health staff who come from Mental Health Primary Care backgrounds working for and supporting the NHS in England.
What we are doing to support you and your staff returning to work?
Remote First Aid & Pre-Hospital Training Ltd are able to help address skills gaps in furloughed employees by;
- supporting our corporate clients to learn about their current and predicted skills gaps.
- focusing on qualifications and existing skills gaps which could make employability more challenging for them for self-funded furloughed individuals.
- addressing issues creatively with solutions like bite-sized learning offerings of current courses, reduced rates for our virtual and blended training, and flexible payment offers to clients.
- offering up-to-date information to prospective students on changing growth outlooks for different industries.
- supporting information about how furloughed employees can still be apprenticed> to individuals and organisations.
- providing information about face-to-face re-openings in a social distancing environment.
We are here to support business owners and individuals seeking self-funded and fully funded training courses to meet UK business demands in the coming months and years. We have a proven track record in developing and gaining recognition of in-house training programmes alongside off-the-shelf programmes to support business growth & development.