An Aberdeen university is offering people the opportunity to study free courses to help those whose employment has been affected by the pandemic.
Two hundred people have signed up for a range of these courses, which gives them the opportunity to retrain or upskill, since August.
The part-time courses are designed to fit around full-time employment and are career based relating to sectors such as decommissioning, project planning, leadership and management, health and wellbeing.
They will be funded by the Scottish Funding Council’s Upskilling Fund, which has provided over £775,000 to help give people the chance to study free courses.
Marcus Herbert, an experienced pipeline systems and joint venture manager living in Aberdeen, was made redundant last year and was awarded a fully-funded place on an online short course in September.
He said: “The opportunity to study online couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It introduced structure to my day that was missing due to both my personal circumstances and everything else that was going on around me.
“Now I’m having conversations with potential employers about my studies and that has been really well received.”
Gillian Mackintosh, director of academic services and online education at Aberdeen University, said: “The personal testimonies of those who have undertaken one of our free online study programmes demonstrate just how valuable the scheme has been in helping people improve their employment and career prospects.
“Many of those who have studied with us have had their employment affected by Covid-19, and might have found it difficult to upskill or retrain without the opportunity to work towards a professional qualification at no personal cost.
“We are delighted at the exceptional response we have had to each phase of the scheme, and we hope that this third and final phase will result in an equally positive response, especially as we have been given extra funding to support those who are unemployed or at risk of unemployment due to Covid-19.
“The University is committed to serving our local communities and this scheme is another example of how we are playing our part in helping drive regional economic recovery here in the north-east of Scotland.”
The third and final phase of the scheme has launched today and will see £205,692 allocated to fund over 200 free places.
Applications are open now until 5pm on the 22nd March, with the courses beginning in May and June 2021.