A new free online learning platform to help boost the nation’s skills while people are staying at home has been launched.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership is encouraging the county’s residents and employers to use the resource.

Courses are available through a new online platform hosted on the gov.uk website, called The Skills Toolkit.

The new platform gives people access to free digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

The platform also offers employees who have been furloughed an opportunity to keep up their skills development while they are at home.

Mike Smith OBE, LEP board member and chair of its People, Employment and Skills Strategy Group, said: "Online learning is a great way for people to upgrade their skills at any time, but never more so than during lockdown."

"The toolkit has a heavy emphasis on the skills that businesses need, with courses selected on the advice of experts and leading employers to make sure they meet the needs of business, not just for today but in the future.

"The impact of Covid-19 has shown how important digital skills are - both for wor and other aspects of our lives.

"Technology is going to play a hugely important role in our economic recovery and this new platform will help ensure everyone is able to improve their digital skills and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

"This is an important step in assisting with longer-term recovery to boost employability across the county, helping people to build up the skills employers need during time spent at home."

Employers are also encouraged to use The Skills Toolkit to help to support and develop furloughed employees who are interested in learning from home.

The toolkit was launched by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He said: “I know how difficult the recent months have been and the huge changes the coronavirus has brought on the daily lives of us all.

“I want businesses to encourage their furloughed employees to use The Skills Toolkit to improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health so they have skills they need to succeed after the coronavirus outbreak.”

Visit www.gov.uk/theskillstoolkit