Hard on the heels of August’s riots in cities around the UK, the Government announced that the unemployment rate in the UK for the three months to June 2011 was 7.9 per cent of the economically active population and the number of unemployed people increased by 38,000 over the quarter to reach 2.49m.
Then, according to figures from the Department for Education (DfE), the proportion of 18 to 24-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs) is now 18.4%. This figure, for the second quarter of 2011, is an increase from last year's second quarter figure of 16.3%, and is the highest second-quarter figure since 2006, when comparable data was first collected.
Michael Shane, Quasar’s managing director, believes that: “This increase in the number of unemployed in this country – especially NEETS - is further proof of the challenges facing workers and jobseekers as they seek to gain – and keep - employment.
“It looks like the labour market is a particularly tough place for young people at the moment,” he added. “At a time when school leavers will be looking for work and the number of job opportunities is falling, youth unemployment could increase more sharply in the coming months.”
Quasar’s contribution to help ease these people’s employment problems is to offer them the opportunity to gain valuable IT skills – notably via Quasar’s ‘Anytime’ suite of performance support online videos, covering the most efficient and effective way to use Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.
Michael Shane stated: “These people need skills in order to get and keep a job. Quasar will provide any NEET or otherwise out-of-work person with access to a learning method designed to help them get some key IT skills – and help improve their employment prospects.
He pledged: “Anyone who’s unemployed and who gets in touch with us at Quasar - and mentions our special ‘Get a Job’ offer - will be able to access either the ‘2007’ or ‘2010’ suite of the Anytime videos for just £49.95 including VAT.”
This price represents a discount of 75% from the list price – or, in other words, is just 25% of the normal price.
“While there are so many people who’re unemployed, getting a job is really down to those who’re serious about doing so,” Shane explained.
“The benefit to these people of using the Anytime solution is that, because they can go back and replay their videos as many times as they want within the one year licence, this reinforces the learning. This makes the learning experience more memorable than, say, going on a training course where you may hear and be shown something only once and then not have the chance to revisit it.
“Ultimately, signing up for an Anytime licence at the special price of £49.95 is an investment of less than £1 a week in being serious about finding work.
“Anytime is a ‘Holy Grail’ to help people get jobs,” he continued. “The videos do more than just outline how you operate the constituent products within the Microsoft Office suite of products.
“We’re not saying that if people use Anytime they’ll get a job. Rather, we believe that using Anytime will give them the skills to have an advantage in being able to impress prospective employers that they’re really serious about getting a job – because they’ve invested time, effort and money in themselves in pursuit of work.
“Our aim is to provide Anytime users with skills that can be used in the workplace,” he added. “Many employers require candidates to have commercial computer skills – and, indeed administer tests to candidates at the interview stage relating to being able to use programmes such as Word and Excel.
“Using our Anytime videos will give people the skills they need to impress once they’ve been offered an interview.
“In addition, the videos, especially those about Word, allow users to style CVs to create a great impression – so Anytime might even help people to get to the interview stage,” he said.
Anytime uses hundreds of short videos that have been specially designed to maintain the important balance of the audio, visual and kinaesthetic elements which are necessary in any successful learning process. One of the system’s benefits is that users can watch, pause, rewind and replay the videos as many times as they like on a PC, laptop, smartphone or mobile device – as long as there is an internet connection.
Central to the system is ‘My Anytime’ - a personal and customisable online portal to each user’s learning programme which shows what online videos are available, what’s been done and what everybody else is doing.
Quasar (quasar.co.uk) is a training company that specialises in delivering end user IT training, along with customer services training. Early in 2011, it launched Anytime: a wide range of online videos delivering e-learning on the Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 suites of products to businesses and individuals.