A key opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic is the number of people in the UK who are available for job re-training. Although the furlough scheme was extended in October, it is estimated that nearly 10 million people were furloughed between the start of the furlough scheme last spring and December 2020. As announced in the Budget in early March, the furlough scheme has now been extended again until September of this year. There are millions of people across the country who have the potential to be retrained whilst they are waiting to be brought back to work or looking for new jobs.
The pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of adaptability and continuous learning to ensure people are ready to take on changing job demands. It has also highlighted that online learning and education is a viable alternative. Continuous up-skilling and re-skilling are imperative as the economy undergoes structural changes brought about by the crisis, which has made ‘a job for life’ a near to non-existent possibility.
The idea to reskill and retrain those who have been made redundant or will not be brought back to work after the furlough scheme ends, can help to offer support in the interim whilst individuals are looking for new jobs. It will also provide an opportunity to work in jobs that need more resource and train people in key growth areas to support Britain post-Brexit and continue to be a major business hub and trading partner.
A job re-training scheme is an innovative way of getting the economy back on its feet faster and reducing the social and economic impact of unemployment. By providing new skills for people to train in areas, they are equipped to find new roles and improve their quality of life.