Leeds City College among several colleges to offer [re]boot career courses during Covid

Posted: May 26, 2021

Leeds City College is among several colleges to support those who were furloughed or made redundant with upskilling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Launched by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in September 2019, the [re]boot project has offered fully-funded courses ranging from Cybersecurity Essentials to Digital Marketing and Analytics.

[re]boot offers short courses at no cost to the participant and is funded by the European Social Fund. The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges represents the seven main colleges including Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds College of Building, Leeds City College including Harrogate and Keighley Colleges, Shipley and Wakefield College, who are delivering training through the project in the region.

Part of the LEP’s Futuregoals campaign, the project was initially aimed at individuals who were in work and wanted to progress or change career into digital, construction or engineering roles. However, as COVID-19 impacted the UK’s workforce, the colleges signed up those on furlough and/or at risk of redundancy because of the pandemic.

In September the college launched The Cisco IT Essentials [re]boot course, aimed at people seeking career-oriented, entry-level hardware and software skills to prepare them for technical support roles.

Having completed a Level 3 IT & Telecommunications apprenticeship, Christopher Oduro, now a team leader at the White Rose Academies Trust (WRAT), completed the IT essentials course, passing it with ‘flying colours’.

“Cheryl Macfarlane, the deputy head of apprenticeships at the college, got in touch with me about the course and said she thought it would be something I may be interested in.’’

Christopher, whose current role includes looking after IT systems and technology at Leeds West Academy, also got the chance to complete the cybersecurity course in December.

“I was lucky enough to complete it, having already completed the IT essentials course.

I love to learn and the [re]boot courses are a great way to start developing a skill set, so any opportunity to upskill, I take because it is contributing to my career,” he added.

IT Infrastructure Technician Apprentice, Kasim Mahmood, recently completed Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) course.

Currently working for Leeds West Academy, Kasim’s role takes him across multiple sites, where he ensures that the technology at all White Rose Academies Trust (WRAT) schools are up and running.

“Being able to help people who have little knowledge in the area, gives me a sense of pride in my work when I’m able to solve a problem.

“I am hoping to go into cybersecurity one day, as there is a skills gap and lack of expertise in the area and I would like to make a difference in the sector in the future.”

The project continues to offer a wide range of digital, construction and engineering courses. Many can be delivered right now, online. Other courses that require face to face workshop training including some engineering and construction courses are taking registrations and will run when the colleges can open more widely.

To take part, participants need to be 18 years or older and live within the Leeds City Region (Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield or York districts).


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