Training on furlough – up-skill while you’re not working

Employees placed on furlough due to the COVID-19 pandemic can undertake training – in-class or online – while on leave.

While it’s obviously a very difficult time for many organisations, with money being tight, there are some really good reasons to up-skill and re-skill staff ahead of returning to work.

Training on furlough benefits everyone…

Employers benefit

There is no impact on the furlough claim employers make. Employers can still claim under the Job Retention Scheme for the days employees are training. So, whilst the training will still have to be paid for (not as much as before in most cases – we’ve recently introduced significant price discounts for many courses), employers won’t have to pay employees for the time they participate in training.

‘Multi-skilling’ employees will make the transition to new working practices smoother. The inevitable job cuts that are to come will lead to skills gaps. Pre-COVID-19, one third of businesses believed that they were not equipped to address skills gaps in their organisations. COVID-19 has exacerbated the skills-gap issue, particularly in the area of digital skills.

We’re seeing an increase in the number of organisations looking to cross-train employees who’ll be taking over responsibilities from both

  • redundant colleagues, and
  • companies to which work is currently outsourced.

The earlier employees are training for the new tasks they’ll be carrying out, the smoother this process will be.

Furloughed employees benefit

The more you can offer your employer, the safer you will be.

“If I don’t focus on up-skilling and re-skilling in an area related to my profession, I’ll become obsolete or just irrelevant.”

“It has become essential to me to learn new skills to become financially stable.”

“I need to reinvent myself or face unemployment.”

Up-skilling will help you out-compete your colleagues in what will be a highly competitive environment.

And if you are unlucky enough to lose your job, having relevant digital skills will put you in the best position to find alternative unemployment quickly.

Steven Smith

About the author

Steve is a passionate, results-driven business owner. Prior to forming Armada Training, Steve co-founded Armada Technical Authors, managing teams of writers on hundreds of projects for clients in the UK and overseas. He found the process of formulating a business and making key decisions invaluable when doing the same for Armada Training, growing the company in five years from a single location in Bromsgrove to having dedicated training centres in five towns and cities, with 40 trainers, offering over 150 courses. Steve studied Maths and Physics at Keele University. After graduating in 1987, he worked for blue-chip companies including Ferranti and McDonnell Douglas. His core competencies are technical, marketing, writing and sales. In his spare time, Steve plays league table tennis, enjoys football (more watching than playing these days), skiing and most things outdoors.

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