Barclays launches action to boost the UK’s workplace skills

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Millions of people of all ages will be able to benefit from free advice and guidance to help boost their career prospects, as Barclays launches a drive to boost workplace skills to meet the needs of the UK economy.

LifeSkills created with Barclays launched in 2013 and has already supported 9.4 million young people aged 11-24 across the UK offering online modules, lesson plans and classroom-based activities to equip them with the core, transferable skills needed for the world of work.

Now the programme is being extended to help all adults in the UK with the launch of free online tools and resources including articles, videos and career case studies. The bank hopes the drive will help to support the skills needs of businesses, tackle employment trends around in-work progression and an ageing workforce, in addition to helping individuals with advice on flexible working, workplace wellbeing, the future workplace and starting a business.

In addition to support for individuals, the bank will also support charities, housing associations and other groups to help their customers and beneficiaries. LifeSkills has created a suite of over 30 modules on topics from employability and cybersecurity skills, to financial management, banking basics, budgeting and debt management. Barclays employees will also use the programme to volunteer within local communities

To support the launch, Barclays has been working with the Jobcentre Plus to pilot LifeSkills training workshops for their staff in London, Surrey and West Sussex, with plans to roll this out amongst further Jobcentre’s across the UK. The workshops help Jobcentre Plus staff to use the resources as part of their working-age support service helping people looking to get into or progress in work.

Launching the expansion of LifeSkills Matt Hammerstein, CEO at Barclays UK said: “We want to help drive the UK economy forward, ensuring it is inclusive and competitive. We believe that a strong, skilled workforce is at the heart of that. Through the expansion of our LifeSkills programme to all adults in the UK, we hope to inspire millions more people to get the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to succeed in work now and in the future.  Whether that’s helping a young person prepare for their first job, through to helping someone progress in their career, make changes to their working life or even start their own business.

“By partnering with the Jobcentre Plus for our launch, we believe LifeSkills can help those on the frontline as well as individuals. It is vital that organisations work together to ensure that opportunities are opened up for all people, regardless of circumstances and background, to get into and progress in work.”

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays said: “We are passionate about helping to give everyone the opportunity to succeed in the world of work and we’re pleased to extend our programme to everyone across the country. More needs to be done to help not only young people but those seeking part-time opportunities too. People should have the flexibility and a wide range of transferable skills to choose their dream career path, without encountering significant obstacles along the way.”

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