By Joe Mountford-Smith, New Futures Edinburgh Coordinator, Capital City Partnership
As the New Futures Edinburgh pilot draws to a close, we are reflecting on the positive impact it has had in supporting individuals affected by Covid-19 seeking to re-skill and change career. By focussing on providing tailored careers advice and guidance, skills development and vocational training, alongside clear pathways to interview opportunities with employers, New Futures Edinburgh has helped transform the career trajectories of many.
At the time of writing, 252 people have engaged with the pilot, with over 360 careers advice sessions delivered, helping to support people progress towards their individual goals. A flexible approach to careers advice delivery has allowed individuals to meet with their dedicated advisor over several sessions, developing a tailored action plan to build their employability through volunteering, training, or developed skills in job applications and interviews.
Currently, 124 participants have completed a vocational training course; improving their career prospects with new qualifications, increased confidence and an enhanced CV. The training offer has been diverse, with qualifications gained including Communication in Business including GDPR and Social Media (SCQF Level 6), Person Centred Care (SCQF Level 5), and accredited SIA Door Supervisor and Emergency First Aid at Work training.
We are proud to say that so far, 80 individuals have successfully secured a new job, and the wide variety of sectors reflects the diverse ambitions of the clients who have engaged. These participants have embarked on new beginnings across the health and social care, digital media, and business and finance sectors, among many others. The success stories borne out of the New Futures Edinburgh pilot highlight the strength of a joined-up and partnership-focused local employability network, which draws on the extensive knowledge and expertise from partners and training providers, as well as the resilience and motivation of clients who have sought to improve their career prospects.
In our previous blog we highlighted a programme participant Ezhilarasi, who contacted New Futures Edinburgh with ambitions to move away from retail and switch career into the tech sector. She has thrived at Derisk 360, the tech start-up she successfully interviewed for in February 2023, so much so that she has been at the heart of implementing a new career change programme named Rise. This holistic training programme will equip participants with the necessary knowledge and expertise in data analysis, AI, cloud computing, soft skills and interview skills to switch career into tech. It covers essential concepts in these domains and provides hands-on experience with real-world datasets and cloud platforms. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will have the opportunity to earn a Derisk 360 certification in data analysis, AI, and cloud computing. New Futures Edinburgh is keenly exploring a referral route to Ezhilarasi’s new initiative.
It is fantastic to see participants thriving in the workplace and in the case of Ezhilarasi, reaching out to facilitate the career development of others who want to reskill for careers in new sectors. Utilising the connections that have been made throughout the New Futures Edinburgh pilot will enable more clients to thrive. The journey of New Futures Edinburgh may be coming to an end, but the legacy it leaves behind is one of empowerment, transformation and hope.