The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today announces it is extending its free [re]boot skills programme to people who have been made newly redundant as a result of COVID-19.
The re[boot] initiative is rising to the severe challenge posed by COVID-19 by empowering people to gain new skills and find a career that’s right for them, with the launch of four new construction courses, building on existing digital, engineering and TV production courses.
The [re]boot courses are free of charge, available online and delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (WYCC) and Leeds Trinity University.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council said:
“We cannot underestimate the human and economic challenges presented by COVID-19. Experian has modelled scenarios on its impact on our region. In the worst case, there is potential for the unemployment rate to rise to 14.7%.
That’s why we are offering [re]boot courses as a flexible way for people across West Yorkshire to continue to learn and develop new skills that are relevant to the changing labour market, vital to help the region recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
Designed to respond to skills shortages identified by local employers, learners will benefit from online workshops, exercises, course tutors are on hand to provide one-to-one support and Q&As with industry professionals.
Held online or in college, the learning can be either part-time or full-time. The majority of teaching is held in the early evenings to help people fit their learning around work and family.
Eligible participants must be over the age of 18, currently in employment, furloughed, or made redundant from March 2020 onwards and live in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York.
Studies show that there are now 49,500 people of working age claiming out of work benefits in West Yorkshire, an 87% increase compared with the pre-lockdown period in March 2020.
Around 380,000 people in West Yorkshire – or 26% of the region’s working age population – have low or no qualifications and are disadvantaged in the labour market. Helping people build essential skills and keep developing is a serious challenge and key to the economic recovery.