A series of free digital courses on offer at the South Central Institute of Technology (SCIoT) in Bletchley are proving incredibly popular with local businesses, with almost 400 sign-ups in just six weeks.
1200 Microsoft Fundamentals Accredited courses in all are being funded by a government grant to the SCIoT, but staff warn they’re going so quickly that companies need to stake their claim soon to avoid disappointment.
Katie Cudmore is a Digital Coach and Curriculum Developer at the SCIoT, and she says some companies are signing large numbers of staff on for the courses. She says, “We’ve had applications from some of the biggest companies in the area right down to some of the smallest. These courses would normally cost up to a thousand pounds a time so smart businesses are grabbing this free opportunity with both hands. The terms of the funding mean we have to complete all 1200 by the end of March so there’s not a lot of time for people to get involved.”
“The most popular ones are definitely the Cloud Computing Azure Fundamentals and Dynamics 365, which covers Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning applications. The great thing is that all the courses lead to globally recognised Microsoft qualifications. When we were awarded the money from the government’s In Work Skills Programme we had no idea how popular they would be. I think one of the most attractive things about the scheme is that nobody has to come onto campus as everything’s online. Each course is thirty hours of study but people can fit that in at a time to suit themselves, and they get a personal mentor or tutor to help them along the way.”
Anyone can apply so long as they’re at least nineteen years old and in work. Even the exams are carried out remotely so the system is entirely flexible.
“Everyone’s heard about the skills gap in tech which this area is suffering from even more than many other parts of the country,” Katie says, “and this is a golden opportunity for companies to get their staff brought right up-to-date with those particular skills which are most in demand.”
Anyone wishing to find out more about In Work skills courses at the SCIoT should look online by clicking here.