Last updated: 19.08.11

Online Courses scheme to help 'N.E.E.T's get back into work.

To recognise achieving another major milestone of 600,000 learners, Virtual College, based in Ilkley has launched an initiative to offer free e-learning courses.

The suite of 6 free interactive, internet based courses includes Climbing the Career Ladder, Customer Care , Time Management, Money Matters , Health & Safety in the Workplace and Data Protection and is provided free to anyone Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET).

For example one of these courses will provide learners with the knowledge to :

  • Know where to look for job opportunities
  • Know how to complete an application form
  • Understand what information to include in your CV
  • Know how to prepare for job interviews
  • Understand how to maintain your job and climb the career ladder

The initiative will go live from the 1st September where each individual can access each course free of charge for a period of 60 days. To access this offer potential applicants can simply self-register on the Virtual College web site. It will be piloted in Yorkshire and we welcome any organisations who wish to assist with the schemes promotion.

CEO Rod Knox said "Achieving 600,000 learners created a milestone for Virtual College to contribute something practical towards the Big Society. This initiative is specifically designed to better equip people for employment, thus helping them make a truly positive contribution to society."

Bucking the economic trend, turnover at the Virtual College has doubled in the last 4 years providing the opportunity to double the number of employees to over 70. Virtual College, whose head office is based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, operate in the 'Healthcare', 'Telecare', 'Safeguarding Children', 'Housing', 'Food and Drink' and latterly in 'Trades' market sectors. Altogether they offer over 150 different online courses.

New to the company, Marketing Manager, Peter Hilliard reports that the pace of the company's growth over the past 12 months has increased. Peter says "Our courses are proving to be a valuable training resource for individuals and companies of all sizes. The system allows a record to be kept of course results, training needs and appraisals for each employee, and is a key tool for employers to get the very best from, what nowadays, is very often a reduced workforce. This has also proved to be a great monitor for CPD schemes."

Virtual College, which was established in 1995 has expanded and diversified to become one of the UK's leading providers of e-learning courses.

Chief Executive Rod Knox said: "Despite the current economic climate, we continue to thrive, as individuals, businesses and organisations across both the public and private sectors seek to access innovative, flexible and cost-effective training solutions."

E-learning is an increasingly popular and proven route to traditional face-to-face training. Geographical restrictions are removed and learners can access their training at a pace, place and time to suit them.

"We are constantly enhancing our e-learning provision across all sectors through the development of both new e-academies and training courses. We have become a proven and viable alternative to traditional learning methods and in the current economic climate can save money; we are well placed to respond to future challenges and opportunities."