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Businesses To Reskill And Upskill Employees For Innovation South Virtual Event

29th January 2021

The Innovation South Virtual Campus (@ISVirtualCampus) has launched a range of free online courses to help employers fill digital skills gaps in their businesses for free.

Funded by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3 LEP) Enterprise M3 in collaboration with regional colleges and universities, ISVC’s skills-focused, bite-sized range of programmes have been designed to upskill and re-skill employees in businesses big and small – all without a cost to them or their employees!

This ground-breaking project initiated by a group of Colleges and Universities in the EM3 area aims to transform access to vital work-focused training such as cyber security and digital skills across the region and is a key element of EM3’s Skills Action Plan, part of the LEP’s Economic Recovery Plan – Revive and Renew

Dave Axam, EM3 chair, said: “The skills of our people are a vital asset. They are the foundations on which businesses rely to achieve the productivity and innovation needed to help our economy recover. The EM3 region is a globally competitive digital and design-led economy and this project is a key part of our ambition, as set out in our Revive & Renew Action Plan, to put employers’ needs for skills centre stage and support our workforce acquire the essential skills needed to drive our economy forward.”

The Innovation South ‘virtual campus’ group includes Sparsholt College, BCoT, and Royal Holloway, University of London who have worked with colleagues from East Surrey College and University of Chichester to deliver an online platform to deliver blended vocational online learning to employees.

The virtual campus offers skills-focused range of short programmes, giving individuals the opportunity to learn a new skill and become an expert in a specific field without the need to take a whole qualification at every level.

The range of short courses has been chosen based on research that has highlighted digital skills in businesses that may be missing or are highly sought after. This covers key areas such as Digital Marketing, Competitor Analysis, and IT Skills including software development and cyber security. Varying levels of each course are offered to suit each learner’s current skillset and experience.

Suzanne Grant, Deputy Chief Executive at Sparsholt College, has expressed her delight to launch ISVC online learning. She said; “Our new, short (circa 10 hour) courses have been chosen to provide good insight of the most highly sought-after skills, at varying skill levels. Designed by senior academics, these are courses without the usual funding or qualification hurdles. The LEP have funded the development of these courses and, motivated by the desire to advance the economic performance of our region, has made them available completely free of charge for adults living and working in the EM3 area.”