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Skilled Education to develop UK’s flagship upskilling initiative

Online education provider Skilled Education has been appointed by the UK government to develop a flagship upskilling program to support small businesses.

UK minster for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng and Skilled Education CEO Rajay Naik. Photo: Skilled Education

The 12-module program will aim to guide participants in developing a growth plan for their business

The government’s Help To Grow Management post-pandemic initiative aims to upskill over 30,000 business leaders with the help of Skilled Education over three years.

The edtech provider designs, markets and delivers online pathways, microcredentials and degrees, and partners already include the University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and UWE Bristol.

“Skilled is passionate about lifelong learning and boosting employability so we are delighted to have been appointed to lead this vital work,” said Skilled chief executive officer and former CCO of Study Group, Rajay Naik.

“Covid-19 has accelerated long-term changes which were already underway including digitisation, globalisation and greater flexibility in the way we live and work.”

Skilled explained that international education companies are have increasingly started to support governments as well as universities, with Coursera and UpGrad being two examples.

“It’s an interesting evolution in the market that many of these firms are now working with public agencies to deliver upskilling and reskilling on a far larger scale,” said a Skilled Education spokesperson.

Under normal agreements government and private sector partners focus on policy, regulation and funding, but in this case collaboration extends to program design.

“It’s great that we’re able to work with government to design a program”

“It’s great that we’re able to work with government to design a program; develop, host and support that from Skilled and for it to be delivered by over 50 UK business schools,” the spokesperson noted.

Upskilling and reskilling large sections of the UK population via online degrees, microcredentials and courses is only accelerating, they added.

Skilled will be announcing more university and government partnerships in the coming months.

UK chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has said that the Help to Grow scheme will give small and medium-sized businesses “the tools they need to innovate, grow and help drive our recovery from coronavirus”.

“Dozens of leading business schools across the country will provide tuition with one-to-one support from a business mentor,” he said.

“Help to Grow will fuel our Plan for Jobs and boost productivity in all corners of the UK and turbocharge our economic recovery.”

The Chartered Association of Business Schools and over 50 UK universities will be responsible for delivering the face-to-face aspect of the program.

The 12-module program will aim to guide participants in developing a growth plan for their business. The third module focuses on Internationalisation & Winning New Markets, meaning there are “aspects that will be highly relevant to the international education market”, the spokesperson continued.

Any CEO or senior team member of a UK business employing between 5-249 people is eligible for the program.

“British businesses have always responded swiftly to change – we are pleased to be playing a small part in supporting over 30,000 companies to ensure they have the skills required to thrive in the years ahead,” Naik added.

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