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UK launches initiative to retrain adults at risk of losing jobs to AI and automation

17 Oct 2019

The National Retraining Scheme will help adults in the UK to identify their existing skills and explore different job opportunities.

The UK government has announced that it’s launching an adult retraining scheme, Get Help to Retrain, that will be rolled out to six major cities and regions across England.

It is the first of a series of initiatives that will make up the National Retraining Scheme, which aims to support eligible adults, particularly those whose jobs could change because of new technologies such as AI and automation.

The online service helps adults to identify their existing skills, explore different types of job opportunities and find training courses to upskill in order to progress in the workplace. Support and expert advice from nominated qualified careers advisers will also be made available.

It was already trialled in three regions, but is now being rolled out further. The service will be available nationwide in 2020.

UK education minister Michelle Donelan said: “The world of work is changing fast, which is why we are developing the National Retraining Scheme to help prepare adults whose jobs may change as a result of new technologies to thrive in the roles of the future.”

Following extensive user testing, adults accessing the service will benefit from new and improved features, such as a more advanced skills-matching tool to help them identify potential new job roles and the ability to save their progress and return to their results.

Jason Fowler, HR director at Fujitsu UK & Ireland, commended the initiative on its contribution to sustaining the competitiveness of the UK economy by ensuring the workforce has the right support.

“With the skills gap costing our economy £63bn a year, there is an urgent need to funnel more efforts into investing in the UK workforce. Technology provides great promise for the UK which is why it is positive news to see the government’s plans to roll out a new initiative to help adults – particularly those whose jobs could change because of new technologies such as AI and automation – to kickstart a new career.

“What’s clear is that technology is not showing any signs of slowing down, so it’s vital that those currently in the workforce are supported every step of the way through initiatives such as these. Because if not, we are at risk of curbing the UK’s journey towards a more prosperous future.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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