Getting work-ready in a digital world

Margaret’s newly-found digital skills gives her the confidence to take the next steps towards making her ambitions a reality.

Having previously worked as a support worker and in volunteering roles at various charities, Margaret was ready to upskill and develop her business and administrative skills in a bid to secure paid employment.

But with no digital equipment or WiFi at home, Margaret’s lack of digital skills meant she struggled with her job searches – and wasn’t even getting to the application stage. It was clear she needed some support in order to progress, so her Job Centre coach referred her to The Salvation Army’s ESP service.

Since first engaging with service back in 2019, Margaret has taken real strides towards becoming work-ready.

After completing an initial digital skills assessment, Margaret identified her main priority was to first develop knowledge and understanding of Microsoft applications in order to create a professional CV and get the most out of online job searches. This process also flagged up that she was interested in learning more about online safety in order to boost her digital confidence.

Off the back of this, Margaret attended a CV workshop which helped her with the basics of how to write an effective CV and how to format documents in Word, and she is now a regular at the weekly Salvation Army drop-in sessions, where she’s learning how to navigate recruitment websites and hone her CV drafting. She now has the confidence and the key skills she needs to undertake meaningful job searches and submit competent applications. Like many others, Covid-19 has put the brakes on Margaret’s job search, but it hasn’t dampened her spirit. Throughout the pandemic, she’s continued to engage with the ESP service, and is keen to progress further, despite having to do things online – something that used to be a real stumbling block for Margaret.

A loaned laptop has made a huge difference to Margaret’s digital capabilities, now having the time and space to practice her keyboard skills and implement her Microsoft training. She’s also due to receive a WiFi-enabled dongle which will give her the online access at home that’s so desperately needed – especially during Covid-19 restrictions. With support from The Salvation Army ESP service, Margaret is now ready to take the next steps towards making her ambitions a reality. She’s working towards enrolling in a new provision in partnership with The Digital College to complete the Highfield-accredited ‘An Introduction to Business Administration’ – a huge step towards making her ambitions of a job in admin a reality.

Her newly-found skills have given Margaret the confidence to make things happen. She’s keen to give something back in recognition of the support she’s received from The Salvation Army, and has recently begun the process of becoming a befriending volunteer – online!