Deliveroo Singapore announced on April 13 that it will be offering 700 free online learning courses to its delivery riders, their partners, and children as part of an initiative to support their education and professional development. The initiative, which was first rolled out last year, at first offered 300 courses to riders only, but has now been expanded to cater to the impact of increasingly strict safe distancing requirements that see entire families staying home during this period.
Figures provided by Deliveroo indicate that Internet skills have so far been the most popular among riders, with webpage development and Python programming among the top courses completed. Other popular subjects include design, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The courses are provided via the OpenClassrooms platform, which awards users who complete a course with a certificate which Deliveroo says can be used in future job applications. However, it's worth noting that OpenClassrooms certifications are accredited only in France, although a number of large companies do use the platform for learning and development.
The company said: "With more riders’ families inside at home during this period, we wanted to enable them to have the option of online learning. We know that many of our riders ride with us to support a long-term ambition, and online learning is a great way to pick up new skills, while still being able to ride with Deliveroo when and where they want. While everyone is likely to have some more downtime at home, we want to make sure we support both riders and their loved ones as much as we can."
Deliveroo's move is in line with the Singapore government's emphatic push for employers and workers alike to use the economic downturn for training and upskilling. It is made even more relevant by two factors: firstly, delivery rider work seldom equips workers with the experience and skills to advance to better-paying jobs, meaning that learning and development have far greater impact for those in the industry. Secondly, the number of people signing up for delivery rider work in Singapore has dramatically increased over the last few weeks as retrenched workers and freelancers out of projects look for alternative sources of income. With the option of free e-learning available, the likelihood that these people will fall between the cracks is at least somewhat reduced.
Image: Deliveroo Singapore