About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

CareerTech Challenge: Career skills for the 2020s

CareerTech Challenge is an ambitious innovation programme led by Nesta and Nesta Challenges in partnership with the Department for Education.

The programme focuses on stimulating new solutions for precarious workers, such as workers in low-paid, insecure work that's susceptible to change, to upskill and retrain online. It also focuses on improving access to accurate data-driven information, advice and guidance to help these people find work. In this project update, we hear from Coventry University Online (CUOL) one of the innovations shortlisted for the £5.75 million CareerTech Challenge.

CUOL already delivers online courses at scale to global cohorts. CUOL is well versed in providing world-class and socially-oriented education flexibly, and understands the barriers that may exist for many adult learners.

In Career Skills for the 2020s, CUOL has designed a specific programme of learning to respond to the rapidly changing world.

On this course, learners will assess their strengths and weaknesses and explore and build the skills they need to progress in work or to seek a new job. The course will build learners’ confidence in working online and embracing technology in their professional life. 

The course is designed for anyone who would like to improve their online and digital skills, as well as their soft skills like communication, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, adaptability and resilience. It will be particularly useful for those looking to secure a new role in the digital sphere to better understand what employers want in the 2020s.

The course also explores what makes a successful online presentation, how to write a CV and cover letter to share online, as well as digital tricks and tips to help learners find their purpose and identify what employers want. Learners will receive a printable digital certificate upon successful completion.


Sign up to Career Skills for the 2020s

Citizen Literacy App

The first pilot of the open course started on Monday 12 October, with subsequent courses scheduled for Monday 16 November and Monday 4 January. Learners can join any time for the duration of the project.

At the end of its first week, the first pilot run of the open course currently has 830 joiners from 102 countries, with 151 learners from England. While this gives learners the opportunity to develop their global communication skills (a vital component of The World Economic Forum’s Education 4.0 Framework), the closed runs of the course planned to start on Monday 16 November and Monday 4 January will be specifically for learners in England.

CUOL support team

The CUOL student support team: Fadzayi, Finlay, Halima and Kevin

Over the next six months, the Career Skills for the 2020s will run two cohorts of open and closed courses. The open courses are free for any learner to join to learn new skills and feel more confident in their professional and personal online world. The closed courses will help individuals within businesses and industries affected by the pandemic, allowing attendees to learn alongside their peers and support each other to gain confidence online while developing strategies to improve their emotional intelligence, resilience and adaptability.

The team is also working with employers and other organisations to run closed versions of the course that are scheduled for Monday 16 November and Monday 4 January, which are for people in England, over the age of 24 and without a degree (the National Retraining Scheme cohort). If you have team members or employees who might be interested, please contact: [email protected]

For more information on Career Skills for the 2020s, please contact [email protected]

Website: www.coventry.ac.uk/study-at-coventry/online-learning/


Tara Hawes

Senior Digital Platform Lead, Coventry University Online

Liz North

Liz North

Liz North

Programme Manager

Liz was the Programme Manager for the CareerTech Challenge Fund.

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