A training hub dedicated to freelancers and other people who work for themselves has been launched by IPSE, the trade body for the self-employed.
The IPSE Academy says it will strive to tailor professional development opportunities to one-man bands by using top training providers who can offer “heavily subsidised” courses.
This focus on affordability is intentional. In fact, the academy fears that foregoing paid-for training is such a “risk” for permies eying freelancing that it stops them from going it alone.
Finding the time to train is another barrier to new or existing freelancers looking to up-skill, but much of the academy – including a business school resource – is based online.
This means the academy can be accessed when it suits freelancers. It also means that the academy’s courses can be offered at variable times and in range of learning formats.
“We know it can be hard for the self-employed to find affordable training opportunities that they can schedule around their work,” says IPSE chief executive Chris Bryce.
“[But] clients pay [their] freelancers a premium for the specialist knowledge they provide – so they need to stay at the top of their game.”
The academy will cover key business disciplines and technical skills, ranging from Amazon Web Services training and Photoshop courses to advanced accountancy qualifications.
As well as the courses, online modules via the adjoining business school can also be taken, in fields like Marketing, Personal Effectiveness, Business Finance, Leadership and Innovation.
“Freelancers [need] to access regular training to stay relevant and be able to offer clients services, skills and experiences they value,” said Christina Lister, a freelance marketer.
She added: “Training can also be a welcome step back from ongoing work and a chance to re-assess, be inspired, network and to see the bigger picture.”
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