College offers skillsets for competitive jobs market

City of Glasgow College has quickly adapted to the different learning environment imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The college moved its provision online in order to continue supporting business through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF).

Since April the college has delivered more than 500 courses remotely to over 4,000 delegates.

Douglas Thomson, Flexible Workforce Development Fund Manager for City of Glasgow College, believes that the past year’s forced disruption has deepened the links between the college and business.

“I think that will continue and expand. No-one saw Covid coming, but we have responded well and there are positives to take from that.”

“The FWDF recognises the crucial role the college sector will play in the education and skills recovery after Covid,” added Douglas. “We’ve always had great flexibility with our employers and the provision to meet their skills needs. We had to get that provision ready for delivery on an online platform, but we were able to respond swiftly.”

Now into its fourth year, the FWDF has been opened up to SME employers for the first time. It allows companies based in Scotland with 250 or fewer employees to access up to £5,000 to cover training, enabling small to medium enterprises address skills gaps in their workforce.

“This will help develop and enhance business flexibility, improve staff wellbeing and resilience, and increase productivity,” explained Douglas. “It can help them get through and recover from Covid related disruptions.”

The college is ready to help every step of the way. From general advice, to helping put together a skills gap analysis and customised training plan, SME employers will get the assistance they need to help them access the fund and create a programme of bespoke training designed to help them upskill their workforce.

The programmes on offer include a broad range in the area of interpersonal management skills. Examples include development training for staff promoted to supervisor or manager level. “We also do quite a lot of culture change coaching and mentoring for organisations, as well as communications training,” said Douglas.

“No two courses are the same. We work with business, the creative industries, local authorities and the third sector. They all have different motivations and needs and the training reflects that.”

The college is also adding new courses such as accountability and responsibility, and train the virtual trainer. And an area it is currently expanding is its trainer pool for mental health first aid training - a major focus for clients just now.

The College already has experience in delivering courses remotely through a highly successful international programme.

Its global portfolio currently delivers courses in:

  • Hospital and elderly care in Malaysia
  • English in Indonesia
  • Hospitality, digital design and professional cookery in India
  • Mechanical and electrical engineering in Vietnam
  • Bakery in Malta.

“We engage with governments around the world,” explained Carla Gethin, Director for Business and International Partnerships at the college. “We’re leading the way both in Glasgow and globally. It’s an exceptionally competitive field, but we’re involved in a lot of different projects ranging from maritime to dementia care.

“We have some 110 partnerships around the world with 30 different countries. That brings back a lot of value to Glasgow and to Scotland. Reskilling and upskilling is going to be required the world over – and that’s particularly true because of Covid.