DM Trust and DMA triples training furlough fund

The DM Trust Home Learning Fund has pumped in £400,000 of additional funding to triple the number of furloughed staff it can support with free training after it was inundated with applications, including a significant number from the print and mailing sectors.

More than 400 courses have now been fully funded
More than 400 courses have now been fully funded

The scheme, which was launched earlier this month (Training fund launched for furloughed staff) initially approved around 150 fully funded training courses for workers in the direct marketing sector that have been made redundant or placed on furlough due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Funding is available to employees of both DMA member and non-member companies.

The scheme is bankrolled by the DM Trust and the Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM), the training arm of the Data & Marketing Association. Both bodies have upped their initial £100,000 funding to £300,000 apiece, which means that at total of 464 courses will now be able to be fully funded.

Individuals from 13 different sectors applied for funded training via the scheme, with recipients, on average benefiting from £1,250 of funded training, two thirds of which were for professional qualifications.

The most popular qualifications were professional and postgraduate diplomas in digital marketing.

The IDM estimates that around 7% of beneficiaries were from the print and mailing industries.

“The main goal was to help people regardless of their experience, industry or background – the coronavirus has impacted professionals from all walks of life. The home learning that our fund facilitates will aid the wellbeing of hundreds of people across multiple sectors,” said Andy Dorling, IDM general manager.

“We believe the impact of coronavirus may well lead to a long-term change in how professionals, even senior executives, upskill throughout their careers. Resulting in a growing interest in a digital learning experience that is both accessible remotely and interactive, which complements the needs of modern workers with demanding lifestyles.”

Applications were evenly split between ‘Online self-study’ and ‘Virtual Classroom’, 52% and 48% respectively.

While the current level of funding is close to being fully allocated, the organisations haven’t ruled out a further expansion of the scheme.

“Due to high demand, the DM Trust Home Learning Fund has been expanded multiple times, from the initial £200k fund that launched on 1 May to a total of £600k. The additional funds will help ensure that everyone who applied, and was eligible, was successful,” said Dorling.

“We will now take some time to evaluate feedback from the learning programmes and look at how it has supported people through their journey back to a return to work.”

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