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Key employment courses go online to keep up with demand during Covid-19 lockdown

29 April 2020

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As a result of an increase in requests for warehousing and Health and Social Care training since COVID 19 broke out, and in accordance with social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus, adult employment and skills training funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority is now being delivered digitally.   

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority took hold of the Adult Education budget for the region in August last year, receiving £11.5 million from central government to provide high quality adult education across the region.

The Mayoral Combined Authority have used the funding to target areas of high deprivation, helping low skilled and low paid members of the workforce to upskill and supporting the unemployed into sustainable employment. 

This includes employment training for staff to help keep essential services running during the Covid-19 situation, including health and social care and warehousing. One provider, ‘Back 2 Work’, is supporting the training of support staff working in the newly created Nightingale Hospitals, which have been set up to help manage the additional patient demand driven by the virus.  

So that they can continue their studies, adult learners across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can now participate in virtual classrooms, take online course and video tutorials, complete electronic workbooks and receive 1-2-1 phone support.  

Mayor James Palmer said:

 “Making sure that people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough get free and easy access to the training they need to get back into work or progress in their careers is a priority for me and why I took control of adult education for our region. 

 “I am delighted there has been such a good take up of the courses on offer, particularly in areas of high deprivation where a lack of skills training is a barrier to employment.  We know that these opportunities to get on are making a real difference to people’s lives and prospects.

 “I commend our hardworking training providers who have been quick to respond to this unprecedented situation and switch to delivering courses online.  Because of this, adult learners across the region can continue to learn the basic skills they need to get a job, and to train in key sectors including warehousing and health and social care that help keep essential services running during this challenging time.” 

 Since August 2019, 6,420 adult learners have completed over 11,000 training courses. Over half (51%) of these courses were delivered in Peterborough, 12% in Fenland and 38% in the rest of Cambridgeshire.

 Most of the adult learners who have completed courses are in the 30-39 age bracket, with 40-49 the most popular age bracket after that and have a prior level of attainment of 1 or below. Nearly half (45.7%) of learners are in employment and 17.2% consider themselves to have a learning difficulty or disability, which is far higher than the 10% UK average.  

Courses in local employment sectors such as health and social care, retail, engineering and manufacturing and IT have been popular.  Well over half (61%) of adult learners have gone onto further study after undertaking an initial course and overall the dropout rate has been very low with 94% of learners completing.  

To access adult employment and skills training, please click on any of the links below, which take you to the five independent training providers funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority: