Among all of the lessons 2020 taught us, one crucial fact that the entire UK learnt was that no matter how much you plan, it is sometimes impossible to prepare for every eventuality. This time last year, the staff at NCRQ began implementing a carefully considered plan to maintain our commitment to our learners, the British public and the industries that benefit from our health & safety training. By the beginning of the spring, it became very obvious that our objectives had to be reconsidered, just as everybody’s personal goals and aspirations for 2020 were changed indefinitely.
NCRQ’s health & safety qualifications feature a key difference when compared to alternative solutions – they are ‘designed for real life’. Last year, however, we all witnessed life resemble something that at times felt completely surreal. NCRQ had to adapt to ensure accessibility during the volatile scenarios that ensued as a result of the pandemic.
Highlights of 2020
Despite the many challenges being faced, one encouraging trend that developed as a result of the pandemic was that people were seeking alternative ways to progress their career, even if they were unfortunately unable to attend work. It became apparent very quickly that there was a desire to utilise this downtime effectively, demonstrating a great deal of tenacity from our students and various industries across the UK as a whole.
In April we decided to offer our Safety for Managers qualification free of charge. The qualification was made available to everyone, including those working from home in isolation or facing uncertainty about their careers. We were expecting a moderate uptake, but by the end of the initiative we were stunned. The team at NCRQ had administered 20,000 free qualifications across the country, equivalent to £4.5 million worth of health & safety training.
When the UK was subject to a second lockdown in the autumn of 2020, the morale of much of the nation was at a particular low-point. NCRQ felt it was appropriate to ensure everyone whose career had been directly affected by COVID-19 were encouraged to continue to strive to develop their skills and knowledge. Throughout the months of November and December, the Coronavirus Support Scheme enabled these individuals to study any of our qualifications at half price.
After some analysis on those who were accepted by the scheme (and have started to make a dent in their qualification!), NCRQ were pleased to discover that 43% of applicants came from furloughed employees, 12% were from those who had been made redundant, 14% from individuals claiming jobseeker’s allowance or universal credit, with the final 31% from those whose careers or businesses were impacted by the disease in varying ways. These figures are a keen reminder to us that despite the climate, health and safety education is an important and necessary resource for those pursuing lifelong learning goals.
2021 Will See More Emphasis Than Ever Placed on Health & Safety Training
As we usher in the new year and look to the positivity that 2021 will bring, the team at NCRQ echo the hopes of the UK that relief from this difficult period of time is not too far away. News in January confirms that there are still some challenges yet to face. One thing that is very clear is that certain aspects of ‘real life’ as we know it are never likely to be as they once were. NCRQ believe that more emphasis than ever will be placed on training and up-skilling in health & safety as individuals and businesses face challenges trying to define a new normal over the coming months.
As ever NCRQ will look to support this period of renewing and rebuilding and we are looking forward to developing a number of new initiatives to support our students and the industries we serve – including creating closer industry ties, continuing to develop new qualifications, and improving our diploma.
Whether you are a past or prospective student, if you have a query contact our team today firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in benefiting from NCRQ’s suite of qualifications suitable for this new ‘real life’ you can apply today. We look forward to supporting you in your endeavours throughout 2021.