21 July, 2021

New Skills Academy

Tackling the challenge of scalable upskilling as part of a HA community investment programme

PWC recently ran a poll of 4,000 people who cited their lack of relevant skills as their biggest barrier to success and social mobility.[1] Housing Associations have been focused on how to address this need for accessible and engaging upskilling for some time. However, the challenge has been in finding a scalable solution given the resources constraints experienced by most HA community investment teams.

HACT recently met with the team from New Skills Academy (NSA) who, over the past 12 months, have been working with a select group of HAs to provide high quality, accessible, e-training solutions to upskill their tenants.

NSA was launched to provide engaging learning experiences to audiences seeking an alternative to traditional classroom education. They have developed 650+ certified, employment-focused courses for unemployed and lower income workers who are seeking to increase their career opportunities, upskill and improve their lives. Since it began in 2016, NSA has trained over 850,000 students, enjoys class-leading course completion rates and has maintained a 4.9/5.0 Trustpilot rating from its customers.

NSA’s ‘social value’ product allows HAs to white-label its platform and gives them access to a user-friendly administrator system to track usage and engagement. It offers this on a cost-price basis allowing users to access the whole platform over a 12 month period.

Clarion Housing has enjoyed success in offering out the platform to its tenants, Naz Kauser, operations manager at Clarions Futures reported that “80% of our participants who have completed an NSA course have moved into employment in 2021.” 

New Skills Academy courses have a real impact in driving community engagement, satisfaction and mobility by providing practical, confidence boosting skills to tenants. Matthew Mclean, Southern Housing Group’s Employment and Digital Training Manager, said: “This new partnership is going to provide the perfect platform for our residents to develop skills and confidence in areas that really interest them and hopefully give them an extra edge when applying for new jobs.

Chris Morgan, Founder and Head of Community Projects at the New Skills Academy, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with multiple housing associations to offer online courses to residents.

“Our purpose is to make education accessible to all and our easy to access online courses can help boost employability, confidence and wellbeing, or simply provide the opportunity to find a new passion in learning a new skill or hobby.

“I have seen first-hand the positive impact online education can have for people if they’re given the opportunity to access and embrace it.”

If you would like to find out more about how New Skills Academy can help engage and train your residents, please contact chris.morgan@be-a.co.uk

Get in touch

To learn more about The Centre for Excellence in Community Investment, contact HACT Network Lead Adam Chester

contact adam