Milton Keynes College Group addressing skills gap with free courses
Milton Keynes businesses are set to benefit from a new initiative to deliver FREE skills training that will help them rapidly upskill or recruit new employees.
Part of a nationwide Government initiative MK College Group is leading a pioneering effort to plug the local skills gap and boost access to high-quality training options.
The SkillsHub:MK is offering fully funded training courses, that are employer driven and set to respond to local business skills needs and help them recover from the effects of the pandemic. The training will be delivered through remote online study – offering greater flexibility in how and when trainees learn.
The ‘well reported’ skills gap is preventing employers from finding the talent they need. Recruiting is taking longer than ever with many businesses abandoning their searches and opting for more costly solutions of outsourcing or using consultants. The solution is to put the business needs at the heart of the curriculum, by making what is designed and delivered business centric.
Skills for the future
MK College Group is leading the strategy – to shape the future skills provision. The SkillsHubMK.co.uk was launched this month and the establishment of a College Business Centre is planned for early 2022.
The SkillsHub:MK objective is to forge strong engagement and partnerships between employers, businesses, and post-16 providers. This collaboration will design training and courses that better prepare workers in the key areas of leadership and management, digital and AI technical skills.
This will help shape the future of the training provision in Milton Keynes and provide employers with the skilled workforce they need to fill jobs, now and in the future, as well as keeping pace with the fast-changing MK business landscape.
Working with employers
MK College Group has appointed, Anna Clarke, Director of employer engagement and partnerships, to spearhead business engagement. Anna heads up the employer facing area, which includes apprenticeships, work experience and skills & training services. She plans to ensure that all options are accessible to a greater range of MK businesses.
Anna said, “Thanks to the following strategies, we are already filling the skills gaps by growing awareness of our new services amongst employers locally.”
“As well as boosting skills, the MK College Group will work with employers to deliver a greater breadth of work opportunities to better support Milton Keynes region.“
“Making sure more people can train and develop at any stage of their life to secure skilled, well-paid jobs is at the heart of our plans.”
At the centre of the SkillsHub:MK is an employer driven ‘skills match service’. This collaboration offers MK businesses the opportunity to identify which areas will have the greatest impact on their business growth. Using the SkillsHub:MK skills match service, bespoke training solutions will be designed and centric to that business.
This strategic partnership with employers will better align demand with supply – and will be delivered to either existing employer staff, students or those individuals seeking a career change.
One key way to ensure business has selected the right training for their organisation, is to complete the Training Needs Assessment (TNA) – available on the website here. Understanding and evaluating what training each business requires will ensure the biggest benefit to their employees.
Finally, the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge of modern technology is a significant gap in Milton Keynes businesses’ knowledge. Business owners fail to understand and therefore do not see its potential influence on skills shortage.
Preparing Milton Keynes for Artificial Intelligence
The SkillsHub:MK aim is to prepare MK businesses for the world of AI and big data so they have a full understanding what AI can do for their business. In the event of running out of skills or finding people to fill the gaps, AI can be used. We hope to achieve a connect world where employers are able to access skills and to push these back into the education system at a much earlier stage.
Anna said, “Fundamentally we are moving away from a supply-driven delivery, to build a skills eco-system around small networks of employers. Collaboration is key to facilitate this change and will place providers, employer bodies, sector experts and local employers’ side by side, to create a dynamic response to the skills gap. We are encouraging Milton Keynes business to register their interest using the enquiry form on the www.SkillsHubMK.co.uk website.
The initiative led by MK College Group and supported by South Central Institute of Technology, includes Biz Tech, Milton Keynes Artificial Intelligence (MKAI), The Open University, Cranfield University, MK Council and Chamber MK – who together are contributing to the education programmes and skills growth across the network.
The programmes is available to all Milton Keynes businesses, with priority given to those who register first. The MK College Group plans to work with local employers to ensure large and SME businesses will be able to gain in demand new skills – and bridge the gaps in their business.
To register your business or find out more about SkillsHub:MK go to www.skillshubmk.co.uk
To complete the TNA go to www.skillshubmk.co.uk/tna