New Skills for a New Business World

October 29, 2020 - Nuala Boyle

Covid-19 has dramatically changed the world of work with increasing numbers working from home or adopting a blended model. For many businesses and organisations, the pace and scale of change that they have had to make since the pandemic began in the UK has been a wake-up call. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the need to upskill, reskill and boost digital skills. Ayrshire College is ideally placed to help meet these skills demands.

Businesses across Scotland have stepped up to respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic, with many adopting new digital technologies at unprecedented pace, transforming in a matter of weeks and months when it would previously have taken years.

Many businesses had to digitally transition activities and operations almost overnight – from working to learning and socialising - most of us are essentially living a virtual life in more ways than we could have imagined six months ago.

For some, the learning curve has been steep – it’s a big jump from working in an office to spending days collaborating online. The growth in digital has been phenomenal but the downside is the skills deficit.

Lloyds Bank UK consumer digital index 2020 highlighted the following:

• An estimated 52% of people in the workforce lack digital skills in the workplace; and in the past twelve months, more people have improved their digital skills at work, but 5% are still at the starting blocks with just the foundations of getting online.

• 23% of the population have received digital skills training and support from their employer and only 10% of employees who have improved their skills have been motivated to do so by their careers and workplaces.

The College sector has a large part to play in Scotland's ambition to become a digitally leading and digitally inclusive nation and Colleges are important to sustain economic growth across our communities.

How can we help?

This is where Ayrshire College can help businesses realise their full potential in a digital world, and we are here to support employers to upskill their employees.

If you are a levy paying company, you may benefit from the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. The Scottish Government has invested nearly £500k in Ayrshire to help with reskilling and upskilling. We would encourage all levy payers to learn more about this Fund and access support.

The Business Growth team offers new skills for a new world, aimed at different abilities and levels and all focussed on providing employees with the essential tools to manage effectively in our new world – tools that can lead to better productivity, better analysis of data and decision-making and better ways to engage and communicate with teams wherever they are located.

Practical and hands-on

We have invested significantly in our virtual classroom and offer a high quality learning environment with smaller classes providing almost 1-2-1 support for business employees to learn and develop.

Reskill and upskill

Investing in people now and in the future is essential and digital skills are an important strand for economic recovery and skills sets we require now more than ever.

The recent launch of the Digital Ambition for Scotland’s Colleges highlights the ways that colleges are responding quickly respond to the changing needs of the labour market and deliver skills for the new economy.

Our courses ensure that employees will gain skills they can use straight away at work, which is essential to fill skills gaps to keep business running.

Learn more about the Flexible Workforce Development Fund and the spectrum of training courses we offer. Email businessgrowth@ayrshire.ac.uk.

Watch how to get New skills for a new world here 

We look forward to working with you.

Nuala Boyle, Head of Business Growth

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