case study: Project activities delivered to Cornwall English Language by Digital Peninsula Network (DPN)
Overview of the project
Amanda Rust teaches English as a foreign language, offering lessons predominantly in Padstow, Cornwall and creating packages of lessons and activities such as art lessons and conservation work.
Amanda also teaches business English online and face to face as well as coaching people to English exams including IELTS and BULATTS.
It is important that digital skills interventions are created that not only work UK wide, but also work on a local level to support regional talent in this sector. Creating more tailored regional programmes will encourage the next generation of digital experts to train locally, stay local and add to the growth of Cornwall’s economy.
Cornwall is home to the fastest growing tech sector in the South West with a forecasted 17.9 percent growth by 2026.
Hidden behind the picturesque landscape is over1,460 digital organisations driving the success of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s technology sector and creating some of the most sought-after tech jobs in the UK according to a recent report commissioned by the CIoS Digital Skills Partnership.
What need was identified?
Amanda Rust operates as a sole trader and her aim, when contacting DPN through the Business Clusters project, was to move her teaching provision online and create a web presence to open up new markets, and also in order to futureproof the business
How did the project fulfil these needs?
Amanda was engaged by DPN in May 2022, and with her goals in mind, it was agreed that Amanda would work with DPN on developing a Level 3 online website development course that would allow her to create a WordPress site for the business, as well as support other similar SMEs in the area through the feedback shared.
What was delivered?
The business took part in a trial course of two online structured training sessions each lasting a full day over two weeks in June2022. During the session, Amanda was taught using new materials covering a range of skills in website development and maintenance, with the aim of managing the client’s experience whilst using the site and ensuring that business aims were achieved through the website structure.
Topics covered included: using appropriate editing and programming techniques to add features and enhance websites, understanding copyright constraints across different software, testing methods to ensure that complex websites are working as planned and responding to quality problems.
Once Amanda had learnt website skills, she progressed to other digital subjects with DPN– acquiring training in mobile video production and social media marketing so she could promote the business and drive traffic to her new WordPress site once launched.
Business Insight, Impact and Feedback
During the training Amanda particularly enjoyed working on the website design and blog, where she learned how to promote her English language lessons and make meaningful material. Post trial training she felt that “the impact will be fundamental” and that the course “has made [her] business possible” as a “website is key” and that her “social media is now interlinked”. Overall, she felt that she had “started as a novice”, that her ‘”ack of understanding was a real barrier previously” and that she now had “confidence” through “relevant practical skills” that had been taught on the course.
Amanda also added that “The training was invaluable to me. It has enabled me to confidently make marketing material for Facebook/Instagram etc. and to reach a larger audience. It has also meant that in this age of complete uncertainty and fluctuating markets I can be sure to market my skills in a professional and fluid way creating material and websites for any necessary changes in direction. The skills I have developed are the most valuable skills I have ever developed. They have a direct and low-cost impact on any of the businesses I am involved in. They also are relatively cutting edge which enables me to develop a very modern approach to everything and an create an up-to-date image. It also means that I can plan and target my advertising campaigns with an awareness of the special days and key issues being addressed globally, I can now make video posts and use Canva – reaching a larger audience, in an inviting way, makes all the difference when competition is high”.
Amanda then went on to add that “Also the training means that I have a level of confidence in my skills and my ability to market myself which means that my business will expand rather than contract as I feel very secure to put myself out there. I cannot emphasise enough how valuable this training has been. Invaluable is the only suitable word! The training quality is of the highest nature, the skill base developed extremely useful , relevant and effective . I cannot recommend this training highly enough and DPN is an exceptional training organisation.”