CareerTech Challenge is an ambitious innovation programme led by Nesta and Nesta Challenges in partnership with the Department for Education.
The programme focuses on stimulating new solutions for precarious workers, such as workers in low-paid, insecure work that's susceptible to change, to upskill and retrain online. It also focuses on improving access to accurate data-driven information, advice and guidance to help these people find work. In this project update, we hear from Digital Mums one of the innovations shortlisted for the £5.75 million CareerTech Challenge.
Digital Mums is a social media training company specialising in getting mums job-ready so they can create flexible careers that fit around family life. They believe that encouraging women to become lifelong learners is the route to reducing maternal unemployment and supporting women to find rewarding, flexible careers.
Digital Mums is developing and scaling its digital bootcamp. This innovative online course uniquely uses project-based learning, peer support and coaching to upskill mums in market research using digital and social platforms. Through iterating the course over the funding period, Digital Mums will improve and adapt its provision to increase learner motivation and career adaptability for learners. Scaling will be supported by engaging with employers who can offer the course to their eligible staff.
100 mums have completed the first digital bootcamp, with great results.
“Learnt lots, improved her confidence, great resources - paper and videos - felt well supported”.Future Skills Bootcamp graduate
Initial post-course evaluations show the course’s positive impact on learner motivation and career adaptability: 77 per cent of participants will definitely take part in further learning, and 79 per cent of participants felt that their confidence has increased having completed the course.
However, due to the pandemic, recruiting mums to participate has been tough. With schools closing between March and September, childcare responsibilities and homeschooling has fallen mostly to mums. During this period, time and headspace for mums to commit to an online course disappeared.
The team at Digital Mums has worked hard to ensure that mums who struggled with this earlier in the year have the opportunity to take the course later on once schools are open.
It’s also been a challenging time to engage employers, as businesses are prioritising streamlining their workforce and making redundancies where necessary. Digital Mums has quickly pivoted its marketing strategy to increase B2C engagement, strengthening its outreach and recruitment tools and tactics.
Over the next six months, Digital Mums will be reaching even more mums, refining its course, and working with its evaluation partner, Blue Squirrel, to understand the effectiveness and impact of the course on career adaptability and learner motivation.