“Unprecedented times” and “the new normal” two phrases which have become cliched but understood by all.

Whether we have been furloughed, working from home or self-isolating all our daily routines have changed. For some, this is a welcomed change, for others it is both confusing and anxiety-inducing. Many have had time to reflect on their situation and most importantly their work-life balance. The reflection on previous routines and lifestyles has given people food for thought on what is important to them. Family, friends and the environment have figured hugely in peoples’ considerations with this paradigm shift.

Upskill or retrain?Our work pattern has been greatly affected by the lockdown and impact of Covid-19. Continued workplace working, home working, furlough, redundancy and unsure nature of everything previously secure, have required us all to rethink our lifestyles and what our priorities are. The old way of working for some is now a thing of the past and a new future beckons.

Adult and lifelong learning are more important now than it ever was for upskilling and retraining the workforce. Further Education News suggests that “we now have a huge unemployment challenge, to go with our skills deficit and productivity problem” (FE News 26/6/2020). With reduced hours, loss of jobs and furloughing, people are unsure as to what the future holds. Therefore, a positive approach is required in moving the workforce forward. Trained and competent tutors are needed to allow this to happen. New ways of learning are emerging with online and blended learning taking the fore. To enable this new way of learning to be embraced by tutors, it is important that the equipment and infrastructure are in place. Teaching and learning have to be more flexible and blended learning provides this flexibility in terms of delivery and attendance.

The Further Education News discusses the report Employment Response to Coronavirus: A Flexible Employment Programme for England and Wales and can be found at fenews.co.uk 26/06/2020. It is well worth a read for an educational view on facing the longer-term challenges of unemployment. Tes.com also discuss the Department of Education’s standpoint on the opening of adult education centres (Kate Parker 15/06/2020 tes.com).

PD North is created by practitioners for practitioners and offers support and resources for those in Further education. They have some superb videos on Youtube explaining the use of digital platforms including Zoom, Padlet and Wakelet visit bit.ly/PDNYoutube.

The future of teaching and learning requires open minds, flexibility and technical know-how. Many organisations are delivering online digital courses and a Google search will take you to many of them. The Education and Training Foundation have a fabulous downloadable guide to EdTech and Essential Digital Skills Training for Remote Working. It contains a plethora of helpful resources, tips and information in the field of digital teaching. It can be found at bit.ly/2xlp53d download your copy today; you won’t regret it!

Upskill or retrain?As we go forward in these uncertain times, with a positive frame of mind, we can also see a return to classroom teaching and learning in further education. Why not consider the Award in Education and Training L3 qualification? We are hoping to offer this on a face to face basis as soon as guidelines and safety allow. In the meantime take a moment to think about your future and the possibility of a change in direction. Or maybe just improve your training delivery and enhance your practice with new-found knowledge. Consider the change and the positive impacts this could have in your work life.

Our online delivery continues with driver CPC and theoretical First Aid. Our face to face delivery will resume, including the First Aid practical, as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, keep safe and follow the updates on our website for all your Driver CPC needs.