From education to employment

The scene appears to be set for a longer-term approach to remote working

Rebecca Garrod-Waters, CEO of Ufi VocTech Trust

#FutureofWork – It was interesting to read the perspective of Peter Cheese (@Cheese_Peter), CEO of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (@CIPD), on how we’re currently witnessing “a moment of real change in the world of work“, in an interview which appeared this week on the @BBC.

This is something we are seeing in all of our interactions, and which has huge (and potentially positive) implications for skills and learning at work and for work.

With news that Royal Bank of Scotland’s has decided to allow 50,000 staff to work from home for the rest of 2020, Mr Cheese is quoted as saying that the pandemic has forced a change in attitude among employers.

With no sign of an early resolution to the current pandemic and therefore an immediate return to pre-pandemic operations, it would seem to be common sense that organisations across the UK are re-examining how they deliver their business in the medium to long term.

In a recent survey of 1046 employers carried out by the CIPD, Mr Cheese is quoted as saying that 28% of employers believe that the increase in homeworking during lockdown has increased productivity or efficiency.

The scene appears therefore to be set for a longer-term approach to remote working – and that means a longer term approach to vocational training and the way we learn. This is the time to talk about vocational training and how organisations will deliver vocational learning and training in this new world of work.

Economic recovery depends upon a skilled and flexible workforce

We know that economic recovery following the 2020 pandemic will depend upon a skilled and flexible workforce: the learning from past economic shocks and recessions tell us this.

Effective use of technology, as part of either fully digital or a blended learning experience for vocational learners, is a key tool in achieving the delivery of high-quality training and learning that our economy will need.

Ufi has always seen digital technology as offering increased flexibility, new approaches to learning, new ways of accrediting learning, new distribution models, and new relationships with learning providers. The need to find remote and flexible solutions to training and learning provides an opportunity to improve the way skills are delivered.

In 2020 Ufi responded to the pandemic through the delivery of a responsive funding programme to support vocational training and learning on a number of levels.

The common narrative behind all of this activity was the sea-change in mindset that enabled organisations of all sizes to seize the opportunity of delivering vocational learning through digital technology.

In short, many organisations can – and have – began their journey to deliver essential vocational training and learning support that employees will need.
A strong vocational technology community is fundamental to the growth and development of adult skills. We will continue to build links within the community, strengthening opportunities for investment and showcasing the art of the possible.

Rebecca Garrod-Waters, CEO of Ufi VocTech Trust

Mary-Ann Russon, who wrote the BBC article which this response refers to, is a freelance journalist who reports for BBC Business, Tech, and Science:

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