Digital confidence for a new future

Akira’s digital confidence has come on leaps and bounds following tailored tuition from Community Renewal Trust.

Since Covid-19 hit, digital skills have been more crucial than ever when it comes to finding and securing employment. Supported by Community Renewal Trust throughout the pandemic, Akira has been able to build her confidence and skills with online platforms to gain experience, apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.

Born in Japan, Akira communicates well, but isn’t confident with her spoken English. Since settling in Scotland, she has been solely responsible for raising her two young children and hasn’t been able to secure employment during this time, due to a lack of formal UK qualifications or recent experience. Because of a long-term health condition, her partner hasn’t been able to work either, which has meant finances have been strained.

Akira was keen to get back into the world of work, for financial reasons, and to build her confidence and independence. After having a conversation with the Next Step team, Akira expressed an interest in working towards an IT certificate, with the aim of gaining employment in admin or reception work.

Through the Digital Skills Programme, she was supported to achieve these ambitions in a way that suited her – a small, unintimidating class with plenty of scope for one-to-one support. She was encouraged to take up a volunteer opportunity to build up her skills and confidence, and give her some experience to add to her CV.

Unfortunately, after Covid-19 restrictions came in, Akira was unable to attend her volunteer placement, and felt she had taken a few steps backwards on her path towards employment. Thankfully, Community Renewal Trust was able to support her to secure a home-based data entry role and also encouraged her to sign up for an online office skills course, boosting her skillset and her confidence.

As suitable roles started to become available, Akira was given support and advice on completing online applications, as well as practice Zoom sessions to prepare her for online interviews – something she wasn’t at all confident with.

Akira’s digital confidence has come on leaps and bounds over the past year, following the tailored support and tuition she’s received. She says: [The tutor] is easy to speak to and allows me to study at my own speed. They always explained things really clearly”. Although she acknowledges this will be a longer journey than she first thought, due to Covid-19, she’s very happy with the support she’s received each step along the way, and is now confident using Zoom – something that just wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Community Renewal Trust.

She says: “I really feel that this service has prepared me to look for a job in the current environment and hopefully for working remotely in the ‘new normal’ as well.”