University offers free courses to help Scotland’s workforce upskill and reskill

Professor Alan Speight, Vice Principal for Student Recruitment
PEOPLE in Scotland can once again apply to study for free on a range of career-focused online short courses with the University of Aberdeen, following the huge success of the first phase of its upskilling scheme.
In August, more than 2,500 people – many of whom were looking to either retrain or upskill in light of the ongoing impact of the current pandemic – applied for one of the 395 free places on offer.

Phase Two, which is launched today offers an additional 150 free places on the courses, which were handpicked to address known skills gaps in a range of subjects including energy transition, leadership, digital and data skills, nutrition, and health.

Professor Alan Speight, Vice Principal for Student Recruitment, said the University had been delighted by the “exceptional regional response” to the launch of the first phase, which clearly signaled a very real and immediate need for these courses.

He said: “Supporting statements and feedback from successful candidates have shown an acute demand for upskilling and reskilling amongst a population greatly affected by the current Covid-19 crisis and its consequences, with many requiring financial assistance to support their upskilling and reskilling training needs.”

Supported by £600,000, which has been allocated to the University by the Scottish Funding Council as part of its Upskilling Fund, the bitesize courses on offer are flexible, part-time, and designed to fit around full-time work. They allow people to study with expert academics, add postgraduate skills to their CV, and earn University credits they can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters’ degrees.

Jim Christie, who received a funded place on an online decommissioning course, said: “There is much uncertainty in the months and years ahead, but I think continuing, or starting, with education will be a great help to many.

“The course has significantly helped me in my understanding of international oil and gas decommissioning regulations. Being able to have meaningful conversations regarding international regulations helps my credibility, exposure, and potential for further work.”

Applications are open now until Friday, November 27, with the courses starting in January 2021.

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