Since April, City of Glasgow College (@CofGCollege) has delivered over 290 courses remotely, to over 2,300 employees through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF).
The college’s specialist, bespoke industry programmes, normally all delivered face to face, moved online within a few weeks of the national lockdown.
The FWDF is living up to its name as flexibility is key to ensuring clients training needs are met.
Douglas Thomson, Flexible Workforce Development Manager at City of Glasgow College, explains:
“Initially courses were cancelled as they were all face to face. However, we quickly contacted clients to clarify training priorities and to identify what support they would require in terms of virtual learning. Some clients made the transition online easily, for others it was more of a challenge so we were there to help.
“We’ve adapted to fit new demands as some training needs changed because of the pandemic, the national lockdown and ongoing social distancing measures. Clients appreciate our flexibility.”
The FWDF helps employers - who pay an Apprenticeship Levy - undertake training and development that will increase productivity, fill skills gaps and retrain the existing workforce. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Government has increased the annual £10 million fund to £13 million for academic year 2020-21.
Tennent Caledonian Breweries, one of the major companies the college has been working with, said:
“City of Glasgow College has been a fundamental training partner over the last four years when we first accessed FWDF.
“Something that at first seemed complicated was made simple for us, and the college’s capacity to adapt to our ways of working, and our training needs has been outstanding.
“We are a large company with three business units. Working with City of Glasgow College we are supported by their lecturers in the delivery of training for different audiences - making it relevant to our delegates and helping them develop their skills in an easy and effective way.”
For Radisson Hotels UK Ltd the college’s ability to adapt was key, as Sarah Penkett, Learning & Development Manager, explained:
“For the first time this year Radisson Hotel Group used the Flexible Workforce Development Fund and it has been an absolute pleasure to partner with City of Glasgow College for our 2019/2020 course offering.
“The college supported our business with a selection of half and full day training courses for our Heads of Departments and Supervisors. Topics included areas such as emotional intelligence, positive psychology, and building and leading teams.
“Feedback from our employees has been amazingly positive with many saying it has improved their confidence. I can’t commend City of Glasgow College enough. In light of Covid-19 they have been outstanding at rescheduling courses and even changing to a digital format where required. We look forward to continuing our partnership into 2021.”
“The FWDF has made a significant impact on the college and our reputation in terms of employer engagement,” added Douglas.
“We’re seeing businesses return regularly for follow-up workshops and future training requirements. And we are adding to an accessible portfolio of programmes specifically tailored for industry and business needs.”