April 8th 2020, the BBC reported that more than 9-million of the UK workforce is expected to be furloughed (BBC Report). To put this number in perspective, the Financial Times (FT, Apr 1st 2020) indicated that half of UK companies are more than likely to have employees furloughed.
With circa 27.27% of the UK workforce likely to find themselves at home furloughed, the business world and work environment will continue to rapidly evolve and adapt to the impact of the covid-19 global lockdown on normal operations. As a result, the skills a worker requires to remain relevant in the changing landscape naturally evolves too.
Due to the expected workplace changes detailed above, it is important that employees on furlough do not emerge from furlough, the same as they went into it. It will be advantageous if they emerge, prepared for the changed world, making the most use of available time while on furlough.
One key option to improving oneself and skills in readiness for the new post-lockdown work place is through education/training. Training should not just be for the sake of itself, but rather should be tied to a purpose such as pursuit of a personal interest, preparation for a career change, career progression etc. Fortunately, Harvard, one of the UK’s ivy universities, is offering free online courses which can and should be taken advantage of. The university is offering a wide variety of courses covering the following subject areas:
Harvard Free Online Courses
Business (4 Courses),
Computer Science (8 Courses),
Data Science (13 Courses),
Art & Design (14 Courses),
Education & Teaching (2 Courses),
Health & Medicine (11 Courses),
Humanities (20 Courses)
Mathematics (11 Courses).
It is worthy to note that some of the courses are currently running while others when booked in advance, run from as little as two weeks and up to 12 weeks. The courses can be certified, fostering more credence when the course is recorded a CV.
It is also worthy of mention that besides the free Harvard courses, there are lots of other reputable free online courses available, examples of which are LinkedIn, which offers 1 month of Learning free (See here). There’s also a healthy catalogue of free courses of a wide variety on the Open University platform. Check them out here.
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