Open University and Invest NI create free learning hub for NI SMEs

  • The Open University has partnered with Invest NI to provide local small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) with free training to “re-power their business” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    A new business hub hosted on has been developed by the online learning institution and local economic agency to support businesses.

    A wide range of skills are covered in areas including leadership, effective communication, people management, strategy development, better understanding technology and digital skills.

    The courses are free with no cost for businesses and all employees can participate, with no limit on how many can be completed.

    RELATED: Belfast City Council: Free webinars to help local businesses

    John D’Arcy, national director of The Open University in Ireland said working with local NI employers is a “massive priority” for the university, which has over 50 years’ experience in learning.

    He added: “The Open University is in the top 1% of business schools in the world, indicating the high quality of teaching and impact of our leadership and management offering to industry.

    “Our practical focus encourages learners to think differently, responding to preferred learning styles and pace to suit lifelong learning. This includes people juggling the demands of running a business with many other commitments.”

    Niall Casey, director of skills and competitiveness at Invest NI, said: “Part of our role has always been to help businesses develop the skills to support growth and remain competitive.

    "In the current circumstances, companies are being challenged in new ways and will need to rethink the way they do business. These courses are designed to help companies and employees adjust and move forward through these challenging times.”

    He believes the hub will help NI businesses “to diversify and upskill, and ultimately contribute to the regeneration of the local economy.”

    RELATED: Open University: 52% NI adults on lower incomes are 'delaying their dreams'

    Access the hub at or contact for more information

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

Share this story