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New Skills for Work portal supports job seekers

Paul Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer, Achieve More Scotland

Young people and job seekers in communities across Scotland will be able to access free training to support work skills and career prospects through a new portal launched today (9 March 2021).

The Skills for Work portal has been developed by The Open University in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and all 32 Scottish local authorities.

Over 30 courses on the portal offer workplace skills including employability, leadership, communication and digital skills. The courses, which range from two hours to 24 hours of training, also include skills for life such as managing money and specific modules for those interested in working in the voluntary sector. 

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said: 

“The Skills for Work portal offers young people and job seekers free access to a range of Open University courses providing vital skills which can help them to increase their job prospects and to gain vital skills recognised by employers. 

“At a time when young people are likely to be among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, this is a valuable resource which supports them to thrive in life and work regardless of background or qualifications. We are proud to deliver this in partnership with SCVO and Scotland’s local authorities.”

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO, welcomed the launch of the portal:

“At a time when those looking for work or embarking on their career journey for the first time face extreme uncertainty, we’re delighted to partner with The Open University to highlight and develop support that can help people into the workplace. 

“This portal will enable job seekers and young people to build their workplace skills, all from the safety of their own homes. The voluntary sector offers great career opportunities to those from all backgrounds, and by working with The Open University we can continue to highlight the many varied career paths that exist within Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector.”

All courses on the portal are free and designed to do at any time or pace and include an Open University Statement of Participation and a Digital Badge which can be used in job applications.

Pamela Smith, Employability Partnership Manager for the Improvement Service, commenting on behalf of Scotland’s local authorities, welcomed the support for people in communities across Scotland. 

“Scotland’s Local Authorities are excited by this new partnership with The Open University and believe these new tools will help us tackle inequality in our communities,” she said.

Geoff Leask, Chief Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland said: 

“I am delighted to see this portal, a further vital development to provide skills training for young people. The short online digital courses will be a wonderful addition to the face to face support and nurture that we give to these young people at these most difficult of times.” 
The portal was piloted with young job seekers on the Kickstart and Community Jobs Scotland initiatives, which provide a lifeline to those who are most in need of additional support into employment. 

Yousef Ahmed, Centre Assistant, Young Enterprise Scotland, said:

“I have just completed the Community Jobs Scotland skills programme, using the Open University training portal. The range of topics offered from leadership skills to resilience means it's very useful for a young person who's just starting in the workplace or as someone hoping to get into the workplace, and wants to build up their skills before doing so.” 
Chloe Dalziel, Community Development Officer, Achieve More Scotland who has most recently completed a badged business course called Leadership and Challenges in Turbulent Times, said: 

“It’s really easy to use, there were lots of videos, it was very descriptive, and the course took me two hours. The things I learnt were relevant to the job role that I'm in just now.” 

Pictured top left: Paul Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer at Achieve More Scotland


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