Agoriad Cyf uses online learning as a key ingredient to help local disadvantaged people succeed in work.

Established in 1992, Agoriad Cyf develops employment opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people in North and Mid-Wales. The organisation works with local businesses to identify recruitment needs and helps their clients fulfill these roles through training and support. Between 2013 and 2016 over 2000 people found employment through their involvement with Agoriad.

Agoriad uses a “right person right job” approach to match the opportunities with their clients, although in many cases gaps may exist in that person’s CV. These gaps are typically a lack of experience or industry-specific knowledge but can also include mandatory training such as food hygiene certificates or construction industry card schemes. These gaps can sometimes become apparent after a client has started employment but is still supported by Agoriad through that all important first few months.

Motivation and e-learning

Agoriad have found many benefits of including online learning within their employment support to clients: learning can be tailored on a one-to-one basis without the risk of incurring unnecessary classroom and tutor costs. In addition learners respond enthusiastically to the recognition that the end of course certificate brings. This then translates into two major benefits - increasing motivation to stay on the employability scheme and building personal confidence.

The Challenges

Like many organisations, Agoriad found providing training and support through conventional face-to-face learning poses many issues: scheduling candidates around their needs; finding subject tutors; accessibility for the less mobile; filling a classroom with a minimum class size for a set topic; and missed appointments. These issues undermine the relationship with the client, consume valuable advisor time and, inevitably, incur avoidable costs for tutors and resources.

Online learning provides support

In response to these issues Agoriad have used online learning, provided by The Digital College, to deliver individually tailored skills support based around the client’s needs. This support through e-learning is now available 24x7 on a variety of mobile devices making it easy for the client to access and use. Courses are self-paced and finish with an online assessment which reinforces concepts and ensures that candidates have understood the content.

“Online learning has clearly been beneficial to our customers. As our e-learning provider, The Digital College has played a key part in delivering these benefits.”

Rhys Mann, Work Programme Coordinator

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