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The F word, yes, we’re talking about Furlough, or the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. This has been a lifeline for so many businesses allowing them to retain staff and avoid redundancies in these uncertain times. The good news is, your company sees your worth and they want you back!

Now what? You’re used to living a hectic lifestyle – in the office 9am-5pm (at least) out at meetings, on the go lunches, pick the kids up or straight to the gym. That’s all stopped. Now you’ve completed Netflix and you’re on the 10th longing stare into the refrigerator of the day.

There is however more good news… really! This time can be used productively, to learn a new skill whether that be to aid you professionally or a hobby to enhance your personal development. Many reputable training companies are offering reduced rates or even free courses at the moment. Now’s your chance, you’ve never had this time before.

So, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the best courses out there.

LinkedIn Learning

Whether you need to brush up your Excel skills, understand how to be a more effective manager or develop your social media marketing – LinkedIn Learning has over 15,000 expert led courses, there’s bound to be something for you. You can access these courses with a one-month free trial (£24.98 after the initial free trial period) via your LinkedIn profile.

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/?trk=nav_neptune_learning

Open University: OpenLearn

OpenLearn is free learning from The Open University. Offering nearly 1000 free courses across 8 different subject areas. You can start right away or at a time that suits you and work through at your own pace. Some courses are specific and skill based, whilst others will help you develop attributes needed for work.

Courses range from health and fitness, language through to business. See the full range here: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue

Future Learn

Future Learn offer a diverse selection of training from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. Future Learn is partly owned by The Open University.

Offering short courses, (which are only a couple of weeks long) are all free and cover a range of subjects, both to aid you in your career or just to fuel a hobby such as ‘An Introduction to Screenwriting’.

You can also pay to Upgrade your course for ongoing access to the content, tests, and the chance to gain a Certificate of Achievement.

https://www.futurelearn.com/

Google: Get certified

If you are in Marketing or a business owner who would like to gain more insights into the digital side of your company –  Google offer 126 courses including ‘Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’ upon completion of this 26 module course and 40 minute test, you will be certified!

https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/courses

Vision2learn

Vision2learn offer one-to-one personalised tutor support throughout their courses and deliver a broad range of qualifications online. Each course is nationally accredited and delivered in partnership with a further education college in England. They are funded by the UK Government too, so if you are eligible you can study for free.

https://www.vision2learn.net/courses

There are so many training courses available right now, if you’re looking for something specific within your industry, it’s well worth a google.

It’s also important to mention, you don’t have to be productive during this time! Protect your mental health and if that means doing absolutely nothing productive, that’s fine too! You can read our recent blog HERE on ‘How to Look After Your Mental Health During COVID-19’.

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