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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

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Sharpening your skills during the Covid crisis

This opinion piece is over 2 years old

Diane Cooper on how the Open University can help you keep learning

The Open University in Scotland has taken a responsive approach to Covid-19, supporting the wellbeing of furloughed workers and individuals who are at risk of redundancy.

So, what are we doing? Over the past months, we have been working with our partners and networks across Scotland to ensure that those who are furloughed or face redundancy can access upskilling and reskilling opportunities whether it’s to help advance their skills or reskill for a career change.

Working alongside Skills Development Scotland, many individuals have found success using the myworldofwork site where you can access OpenLearn, our convenient and flexible online learning platform with over a thousand free courses across a huge range of subjects. You can earn digital badges and certificates, while studying at your own pace.

We have also been overwhelmed by the number of applications we have received for a range of upskilling funded projects which are supported by the Scottish Funding Council.

We have been working to ensure that those who are furloughed or face redundancy can access upskilling and reskilling opportunities

We recognise that Scotland needs more people with the right skills and knowledge for our fast-growing digital economy, so we were pleased to offer a funded six-week part-time training programme called CodingSkills by the Open University. Booked out quickly, this course was specifically designed to enable individuals to upskill or reskill towards a career in programming.

As we have transitioned to engaging online, we have also been oversubscribed for funded places on a new Microcredential Course for Online Teaching: Creating courses for Adult Learners. Due to this success, we have secured and offered additional places for the next planned course.

If you or someone you know is currently furloughed or at risk of redundancy, and looking to upskill or reskill, we are offering an opportunity to study a fully-funded OU module from a choice of subject areas of business, computing, mathematics and engineering, all of which are key skill gaps in Scotland. Make sure you apply before the deadline of 24 July 2020.

Studying one of these modules can help advance your career aspirations and if your circumstances change for any reason such as you change job, become unemployed or get back into employment, you don’t need to give up your course, you can continue your studies with us. 75% of our students are in work and learn while they earn.

For more information visit here.

If you’d like to find out more about upskilling and reskilling whether it is for yourself or your organisation, please get in touch with us at Keep an eye out on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for the latest news and resources: follow us at @OUScotland, The Open University in Scotland.

Diane Cooper is the partnerships manager at the Open University in Scotland, email



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