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Now is the time to learn a new skill

The world is on lockdown, with billions of people confined to their homes in a global effort to try and slow the spread of Covid-19. This is putting a huge strain on economies around the world, as entire sectors such as travel and hospitality are essentially shut-down for the next few months. Many will view this time with worry and concern, but you can also see it as an opportunity – never before have so many people had the time to learn a new skill.

Worker retention schemes vary around the world, but many countries offer some kind of furlough where workers are paid around 70-80 per cent of their wages but asked to stay home and stop working. Yes many of those people will have kids to look after and various other tasks to complete, but with money coming in and no work to go to, learning a skill will be a great goal for the next few months – and it can be done for next to nothing!

Learn a language

Have you always dreamed of being able to speak Italian or Spanish? Now is the time to learn. Sure, you may not be able to put that language to use for a while, whilst tourism is paused, but by putting in the work now with free apps like Duolingo you could be conversational by the time flights are re-opened and have the best holiday of your life being able to chat with the locals.

Learn to code

Being able to code opens a lot of doors, and just a basic understanding of Javascript or PHP will put you in a much better position to find a new and higher paying job once the pandemic is over. There are numerous free resources to help you start your coding journey and if you enjoy the process, why not take the whole thing one step further and get yourself accredited with somewhere like the International Scrum Institute.

Learn about history

Most people only learn about history whilst at school, but the past has a lot to teach us about today – and you can even learn from your sofa with a huge array of history documentaries available to stream right now for free. What can we learn from the experiences of the Spanish flu back in 1918/19? What can we learn about the the global recession that followed a decade later? There’s a lot to find out!

Learn to cook

Restaurants are going to be closed for at least the next few weeks, so why not use this time to learn some new recipes? Whatever your favourite dish, you will be able to find a recipe available online – BBC Good Food is my personal favourite recipe source, and maybe once this is all over you can get your friends round and show off your new skills.

Photograph by FreeStocks