Furlough – an opportunity for learning

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Vacation - an opportunity to learn

As we are approaching our Tier 5 lockdown one week and many companies have to or have had to take employees on leave again, this may be another chance to take a step back and take stock. A significant part of the working population is on leave again and now has additional time available. For many families this free time is diverted to children at home, for others they may already be feeling the deleterious effects of the loss of structure, purpose and meaning in their day.

Vacations can offer many opportunities to individuals. Not only are they spending more time with their family’s “bubble”, but they’re also saving the time and expense of getting into work (though for some the latter is offset against the fact that they may not have received 100% of their income since the coronavirus job Retention Scheme only covers 80% of the costs.

However, some people may experience the downside of vacation, which is isolation, loneliness, and / or anxiety about job security as their employers have to take vacation. Job security can often feel like something we have no control over. However, if we, as employees, provide our services, we can help make the business more efficient and sustainable. But if we have time and our mood or anxiety change negatively, our thoughts can change too. These can be catastrophic, black and white, negatively filtered and distorted altogether. During these times it is important to remember what we can and cannot control, and the only thing we are in control of is our learning. Through learning we can improve our employability and personal development. We have power to improve, and when we are on vacation now is the time.

The vacation management enables vacation participants to continue to have access to training courses. However, this came with rules for the employer.

Your employer may ask you to take certain types of training – for example, an online course to improve your skills. They cannot solicit training from you if they are making money or providing services to them.

Citizens Advice Bureau 2021 [online]

Of course, development doesn’t always look like formal training. These can be small measures, e.g. B. updating our résumé, searching the online job market in a few minutes and benchmarking the available offers in our work area or in a desired work area. However, there could be an improvement in our skills and knowledge so that when we return to work we can offer more to maintain this business and thus our position within the company. Employers and employees benefit from learning, even if this learning is not directly related to the professional role of the employee or the company. There are often transferable skills that benefit both the employee and the employer.

One of the positive results in 2020 is how quickly people can adapt to change and thus also to technology. In the learning and developing world, we have seen a seismic shift from a personal learning experience to high quality virtual classroom courses and other forms of online learning. To achieve this, the courses had to be adjusted quickly, and at the same time we have seen an expansion in the portfolio of online learning offered to the consumer. So the big question for those on vacation is not whether to study, but what and how much to study. Vacation could be an opportunity to add string to your bow or simply to strengthen it. If the negative risks of vacation are putting your mental health into question, this may be the best time to improve your mental health knowledge and thereby improve your mental health protection. It could give you the sense of purpose, structure and meaning that may be lacking while on vacation. Many training courses are offered and many can be offered online.

Suppose you also want to acquire an appropriate qualification and title to add to your résumé. In that case, you might consider training as a mental health first responder, which will provide you with valuable life skills and something else to offer your employer and / or improve your employability in the marketplace.

Employers now have the opportunity to build on team knowledge and skills so that when their workforce returns, they are better equipped to ensure that the company is efficient, profitable, sustainable and that their employees feel supported. Learning can certainly produce positive surprises and identify skills that have not yet been recognized in certain people. This lockdown offers employers and employees the opportunity to work together for a stronger future.

Find out more about all of our online courses here.

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