Forth Valley College (FVC) has had great success delivering training courses for businesses pre-lockdown and now it has created an online survey to enquire how firms want lecturers and trainers to deliver courses going forward in the “new normal”.
Miles Lagan, FVC commercial growth manager, said: “I’m responsible in my role to promote our short term training course portfolio to employers. Our portfolio of courses has been developed over a number of years and has been successful.
“Since COVID-19 happened there have been two significant things which happened for employers – the pandemic itself and the recession that grew out of it.”
These changes to the way of life have also led to changes for work forces and their practices, so FVC is looking for input from businesses about what they now need from the college in terms of training.
“The more direct feedback we get from businesses the better it will be to get a picture of what they need from us. It’s not just large employers we want to hear from – any businesses which are responsible for training of their staff can complete the survey.
“The feedback we have had already says some courses are better delivered in person, while some are better delivered virtually. The survey itself takes around four minutes to fill in.
“We wanted to keep it short and snappy and make it easy to complete. The survey is asking employers what kind of courses they think they will need in the coming year to best develop their staff. It ask’s them their preference – in person training or virtual training.
“The survey will help us to access where the demand sits and try to match that demand with the courses we deliver.”
Before the lockdown came into force in March, FVC had a number of training courses which fell under the Scottish Government’s Flexible Work Force Development Fund.
Miles said: “Before lockdown we were delivering all these courses in person, but after lockdown we had to develop a way to deliver training that can be delivered virtually through Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
“These online sessions have all the interaction of an in-person training course – we try to make the virtual delivery of training as similar to the normal training as possible.”
The recent relaxation of the lockdown allowed FVC to return to some form of normality.
Miles said: “We started back training in person at the end of August with really strict COVID-19 procedures in place. When we do in-person training the capacity reduces. Where we used to deliver training to 12 people at a time, we now have eight people.
“It’s more difficult to deliver the volume in person we once did, but virtually there is no reduction in capacity. We have supported a number of local businesses with virtual training, including Ineos and John Mitchell Haulage, mixing and matching depending on what their needs are.”